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The eco brief. Craftsmen approach the start of the school year with optimism


A baker bakes bread in Paris on January 8, 2020 (PHILIPPE LOPEZ / AFP)

According to INSEE, the business climate continued to decline in August among business leaders. None of this among artisans whose morale is improving if we are to believe the latest survey carried out by CMA France, the national network of Chambers of Craftsmanship: eight out of ten professionals believe that the evolution of their activity will stabilize, or even improve, in the next six months.

Food is generally doing well and is recruiting apprentices in training. Ditto for the service and manufacturing sectors. A figure shows the resilience of artisans in times of crisis: the number of business disappearances in this branch last year, around 90,000, was 5 to 10% lower than in 2018 and 2019. Better still: the number of registrations in the commercial register on the first half of this year increased. 31,500 craft businesses were created between January and June.

Proximity plays an essential role in this dynamism. By definition, artisans are close to the field and the trades represented – plumbers, building professionals, bakers – confirm their major role in our daily lives. This makes the president of the Chambers of Trades and Crafts, Joël Fourny, say that the local economy is a real pillar of the recovery. But the CMAs of France remain vigilant. Companies in the sector are also having to cope with the labor shortage and the rising cost of raw materials.

The branch represents 1,700,000 companies, a little over three million jobs and 12% of our Gross Domestic Product, the GDP (the national wealth produced each year), or around 300 billion euros. Their urgent challenges are training, digital technology and transmission to new generations: 130,000 craft businesses are to be taken over in the next two years.

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