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The Impact of the Economic Crisis on Businesses in France: What Are the Consequences for 2012? What Are the Prospects for 2013?

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© Marketwire 2012
2012-12-04 09:01:58 -

PARIS -- (Marketwire) -- 12/04/12 -- Research Now reveals findings from its latest survey addressing the economic downturn, consequences for 2012, and prospects for 2013. The company's previous survey carried out in November 2011, involving a sample of financial decision-makers, revealed that business leaders were quite resilient in terms of their investment policies and intentions, despite the global economic crisis. This latest survey, however, signals a perceived financial downturn and increased levels of pessimism regarding prospects for the years to come.

Economic crisis already perceived in 2012
36% of business leaders involved in the survey consider that the financial situation of their business has worsened (compared with 30% from the previous year); while 32% said that it has improved (compared with 43% from the previous year). 40% said that the profitability of their business has decreased (compared with 29% in 2011), 32% reported that the turnover of their business is lower (compared with 20% in 2011), and finally, 31% confirmed that their position in the French marketplace has diminished (compared to 20% in 2011).

A downward trend in investment for 2012
2012 will have seen a 32% global reduction in investments compared to a reduction of 19% for the previous year. There was also a 38% reduction in recruitment of new collaborators compared to 26% in 2011, marketing investment (31% compared to 21% in 2011), acquisition projects (34% compared to 21% in 2011), R&D investment (27% compared to 15% in 2011), as well as commercial investments (27% of respondents compared to 13% in 2011).

The outlook for 2013 is gloomy
Putting aside opinions on the solidity of the banking system, a subject where the level of pessimism is falling (38% of respondents are pessimistic compared to 47% in 2011), all other areas have seen an increase in pessimism: situation for businesses in France (82% are pessimistic compared to 70% in 2011); situation for employees (90% are pessimistic compared to 79% in 2011); situation for respondents' companies (36% are pessimistic compared to 27% in 2001); and finally, respondents' personal situation within their companies (34% are pessimistic compared to 18% in 2011).

The balance of opinions on these final two areas (percentage of optimists compared to percentage of pessimists) is clear evidence of a significant divide between perceptions of the general economic downturn and more "positive" assessments of respondents' direct environment.

Differences of opinions in terms of investment in 2013 and levels of reduction are consistent and can be divided into two main categories:

  • Areas where percentage of reduction is greater than percentage of increase: recruitment of new collaborators (45% reduction compared to 23% increase); marketing and public relations (36% reduction compared to 22% increase); and acquisitions (33% reduction compared to 27% increase).

  • Areas where percentage of increase remains higher: release of new products (20% reduction compared to 36% increase); commercial investments (27% reduction compared to 29% increase); and R&D (23% reduction compared to 32% increase).

Focus marketing and PR
To conclude, all areas show a clear downward trend in spending compared with last year, specifically in terms of projections for marketing and PR investment, with the exception of online marketing.

  • Market research: reduction in spending in 33% of cases, increase in 18%

  • Media PR: reduction in 38% of cases, increase in 16%

  • Non-media PR: reduction in 31% of cases, increase in 20%

  • Online marketing: reduction in 17% of cases, increase in 37%

About the methodology
Research Now surveyed a nationally representative sample of 312 financial decision-makers, according to business activity quotas and size of company (10 employees or more), utilizing its business-to-business panel. The online study was conducted between September 25 and October 1, 2012.

About Research Now
Research Now, the leading digital data collection provider, powers market research insights. We enable companies to listen to and interact with the world's consumers and business professionals through online panels, as well as mobile and social media technologies. Our team operates in 24 offices globally and is recognized as the market research industry's leader in client satisfaction. We foster a socially responsible culture by empowering our employees to give back. To find out more or begin a conversation with us, visit : .. .

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