“All the bosses I meet are in a state of great uncertainty,” says the Medef boss

Between inflation and the Ukraine conflict, the economic context seems uncertain for business leaders.

While France’s gross domestic product (GDP) eventually contracted 0.2% in the first quarter, French business leaders seem to be navigating.uncertainty“.

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All the bosses I meet are in great insecurity‘ explained Geoffroy Roux de Bézieux, President of Medef, on France Info this Wednesday. “On the one hand, the activity is not catastrophic, even if consumption falls in April and it shines in May. And at the same time there are a lot of dark clouds on the horizon, a lot of uncertainty. We are entering a world we do not know well, the world of inflation“, he added.

Inflation in France even accelerated again in May to 5.2% over a year and thus exceeded the 5% mark for the first time since September 1985. Statistically speaking, the purchasing power of households fell by 1.9% in the first quarter due to inflation.

Russian oil embargo ‘will hurt’

In addition, there is the conflict in Ukraine and the new agreement of the 27 on an embargo on Russian oil. “It’s a necessary evil. Politics must take precedence over economics» currently for Geoffroy Roux de Bézieux. The Embargo”it will hurt“, he assures, but”we have to accept“. Despite this uncertain context for business leaders “I don’t see bosses demoralized or laying off workers. On the contrary, we are more in the recruitment process” Says the head of Medef.

Regarding the wage increase by companies demanded by Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire “Businesses played the game» confirms Geoffroy Roux de Bézieux, stressing that on average «3% salary increase at the beginning of the year, which equates to 3 out of 4 companies“.” There are companies that hand out bonuses or resume negotiations, but they’re the ones who can.“, arguing that with the current situation, especially the increase in commodities, some are cutting their margins.

But when it comes to recruiting new employees, companies with staffing needs have no other choice. “Wages are being reviewed as we cannot hire. The law of supply and demand has shifted in favor of workers», for Geoffroy Roux de Bézieux. “I don’t know of any boss who doesn’t struggle with hiring. Structurally, we have a problem with the job offer» because of demographics

The employers’ association also proposes the creation of a tax-free special bonus.fueladapted to people’s mileage and financed by companies that allow 78% of French people to drive to work, recalls the Medef boss.

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