The strikes at the SNCF threaten growth ?

The government expects 2 % growth in 2018.

© SEBASTIEN BOZON / AFP

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The strike at the SNCF continues. The traffic was very disrupted this Friday the 13th and it should be this Saturday, April 14, even if most of the trains seem to roll as during the two previous episodes. The movement may theoretically last until 28 June, as announced by the inter-union of the railwaymen in mid-march, or even beyond, if the concessions granted by the majority are considered to be insufficient. And it is combined with the cancellation of flights at Air France.

Should we be worried for the economic growth in france in 2018 ? Monday, April 9, the Confederation of small and medium-sized companies (CPME) is sounding the alarm. “The consequences of this social movement are beginning to be felt. Beyond the sectors directly concerned, it is the whole of the French economy, which might be quickly impacted, “warns the employers’ organisation.

Strike catastrophic

Disruptions of supplies related to disruptions in the freight transport by rail workers stuck at home, or delay, the reasons of concern to companies are multiple. “The strike of SNCF, it impacts heavily on our ability to transport cereals in France,” says Bellows, a family business, agri-food, international in scope, with 40% of its turnover in france. “We were not able to realize that a train on four during the first week of the month of April. We can not compensate for the cancelled trains with a river transport by barge or trucks, because of the floods, persistent on the axis Seine and the saturation of road transport. The cost of rental of railroad cars that were not transported, the costs of storage, the penalties for late delivery affect financially the cereal sector “, is concerned the group, which is one of the first millers in europe. He does not hesitate to qualify this strike as ” catastrophic.” For this French jewel of the trading of cereals, it threatens the ability to enhance the value of cereal French in the next few months.”

If the problems encountered by businesses are very practical, the impact on the economy as a whole must nevertheless be relativized. Insee merely recall the consequences registered during the strikes of 1995, “the reference to “strikes” long-term “. “The loss was 0.2 percentage point of quarterly GDP “, explains Julien Pouget, head of the department of the environment of the institute. At the time, the strike at the SNCF, RATP) lasted for three weeks, continuously. But the public sector was also impacted by days of strikes, such as the private sector, though to a much lesser extent.

A 10% decrease in the occupancy rate for the month of April

But this loss of growth, significant, is often caught up, at least in part, in the course of the following months. This is what was found in 2016 in the refining sector, in spite of the blockage of the refineries at the time of the demonstration against the law El Khomri on the labour market.

Some sectors suffer more than others. Thus, the loss of activity in the tourism does not catch. In addition, the use of telework massif of the employees is not possible in the area of hospitality. “We are already seeing a 10% decrease in the occupancy rate for the month of April. We can now encrypt this down to a loss of 150 million euros for the hospitality that omen of bad results for cafes and restaurants. For the months of may and June, booking requests are in the ” off “, noted Roland Heguy, president of the Union trades and industries of hospitality, a trade association, at the beginning of the month of march. The situation has not improved since. “This situation is very detrimental for our business professionals that anticipate a high level of activity, with leisure through the long weekends of may as well as a good attendance of the client’s business, in the course of June. “

0.3% growth in the first quarter ?

The growth hex has probably already slowed in the first quarter. It could rise to 0.3% from 0.6% in the fourth quarter, according to a leading indicator of the activity of the Bank of France based on the declarations of enterprises on the business climate. This soft has nothing to do with the strikes that began in early April. It would be rather related to the timing of the fiscal measures of the government which has initiated the purchasing power of the French on the first three months of the year. This purchasing power should bounce back in the 4th quarter, with the second wave of decline in wage and salary costs, planned from October. The government now expects a growth of 2 % this year to reduce the deficit to 2.3 %. A figure deemed “realistic” by the High Council of public finances.

See our file : SNCF : a reform are very political

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