Sat May 5th, 2007 at 01:03:35 AM EST
This flies in the face of tons of anecdotal evidence I have heard or read that starting a business in France is a royal pain in the ass. Out of five French people I know who have started and run their own (small) businesses in France, only one did not complain about how difficult and exasperating an endeavor it was/is. And yet, as with youth unemployment, the statistics seem to belie the personal tales of woe:
Historic record of new business creation in France
After an increase of 2.6% in march, the number of businesses created in France since last year has reached 294,621. <...>
The number of new businesses broke a new record last month. The strong growth recorded last month led to a total of 26,752 new businesses in March 2007, and a cumulative number of 294,621 new businesses over the twelve previous months, according to a statement by Renault Dutreil, minister for the Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, Commerce, Artisans, and Liberal Professions.
Indeed, the INSEE [French National Institute for Statistics and Economic Studies] in its last publication announced that the number of new businesses in March 2007 was 2.6% higher compared to February 2007, while the number of new businesses in the first trimester of 2007 went up by 11.1% compared to the first trimester of 2006.
Interestingly, the numbers calculated by the INSEE are based on
a new set of specifications adopted by the INSEE starting from January 2007 to respect new European guidelines.
As the INSEE remarked, this European standarization did not change the profile of new businesses observed since the beginning of the 1990s.
Indeed, the trajectory of business creation between 1993 and 2006 as recalculated by the INSEE based on the new European definitions convey as before the strong dynamic starting in 2002 with a continued increase in the number of new businesses in these last years. "The figures from the month of March 2007 establish yet again an absolute record never before reached, as shown in the historical data recalculated by the INSEE according to the new specifications," the release points out.
The article does note that the INSEE indicated last Wednesday that:
the number of business failures assessed in France in November 2006 increased by 0.9% compared to the month of October, to 3.166 in seasonally adjusted data.
On the other hand,
the Insitute pointed out that the number of failures assessed over the twelve months through November was 8.1% lower than in the twelve preceding months, 38.813 failures against 42.242 in the preceding twelve months.
Sounds like some pretty good news. (And this coming from a a leading business reference and financial daily in France.)
Almost too good: 294,621 new business creations over the last twelve months and only 38.813 failures? (By the way, do the fractions in these numbers come from the seasonal adjustment of the data?)
So two questions:
Did Royal mention this good news in her debate with Sarkozy, to refute his claim that France needs "reforming"?
Why the discrepancy between the anecdotal data ("Starting your own business in France is a nightmare") and this glowing statistical data? (Or is this statistical data, while perhaps good for France, actually not that good compared to other developed countries?)