This heat wave in June 2019 will it have an impact on the French economy ?

France, between Monday, June 24, in a week of high temperatures, with the mercury hovering in places up to 40 °C. If the authorities, now well-practiced, alert

This heat wave in June 2019 will it have an impact on the French economy ?

France, between Monday, June 24, in a week of high temperatures, with the mercury hovering in places up to 40 °C. If the authorities, now well-practiced, alert upstream on the potential health consequences, stifling heat and durable, like the one announced, can have adverse effects on economic activity. Heat waves can be measured at the level of the growth of the gross domestic product (GDP). In 2004, a senate report on "France and The French facing the heat wave of 2003" was encrypted from 15 to 30 billion euros the negative impact of the episode on French growth (0.1 to 0.2% of GDP). The heat wave will it have an impact on the economic activity of the country? "The health of the people comes before all else", has swept through the minister of Labour, Muriel Pénicaud, invited Sunday to the "Grand Jury RTL-LCI-Le Figaro.

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In every period of extreme heat, the phenomena that should be more frequent, the activity slowed, however, in some sectors. The most affected are the construction and public works, transport, energy, agriculture, but also "the restaurant, the bakery, the laundry," or even the seasonal jobs on the outside (on beaches, for example), as the government points out in its plane a heat wave. These companies are then invited to adapt their work organisation. "Employers have obligations and we are being strongly warned. We are going to follow this closely," promised Muriel Pénicaud, reminding employers that they have the obligation to "adapt schedules as a function of the heat", to ensure the proper hydration of their employees and equip their business to prevent the heat.

more sectors "météosensibles"

In the building sector, for example, on hot days, companies can benefit from the "vacation weather", which allow to compensate partially employees when the site on which they are supposed to work is closed due to bad weather. "We will be particularly attentive to the building industry, because that is where there is the highest risk," assured Muriel Pénicaud.

In air and rail transport, extreme heat can affect the material, which could lead to delays. The energy sector is also sensitive to the vagaries of the weather. Because of too strong heat, EDF may be required to reduce the production of its nuclear reactors for maintenance of the plants, while a heatwave may also cause an increase in the consumption of electricity (refrigerators, freezers, air conditioners, fans....).

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The heat also have an impact on consumption. While the balances begin on Wednesday, June 26, a too big heat can go up to distract the French stores. In August 2003, the purchases of clothing had decreased from 8.3% in one month.

Rush on fans, air-conditioners and beer

On the other hand, this heatwave is expected to make the happiness of the vendors, fans, and air conditioners. Saturday 22 June, if large surfaces were not yet able to provide consolidated figures on the sales of these appliances, it is already a trend definitely on the rise. "On the air conditioners, there was already the growth of over 100%" compared to 2018, explains to the AFP Olivier Garcia, director of the group's products Fnac-Darty. "There is even a growth of almost 300%', Thursday, and Friday, on a year, he says. "The explosion of sales on the fans will be really real this weekend and next week," he predicted. No figure of all was not yet available for the Kingfisher group, owner of retailers Castorama and Brico Dépôt. But "we are seeing a spike in sales since Friday. We have sold 80% of the stock of air conditioners in two days", said Saturday at the AFP Benedict Vincelet, store manager of Castorama Cormeilles-en-Parisis, near Paris.

the two leaders ensure: the availability of items is not a source of concern. "Most of our trucks are full of fans and air conditioners to be able to respond to the request, as early as next week" according to the director of the group's products Fnac-Darty.

The high temperatures are also expected to benefit in the beverage industry, which is also very "weather-sensitive". According to Jean-Louis Bertrand, a professor of finance at the school of management Essca Angers, the big heat are "the first explanatory factor of the volume of beer sales". "Beyond 25°C, each additional degree results in an increase of 5% to 7% of the sales volume," he explains, citing a study from Météo-France carried out between 1993 and 2000 in the south-east of France. "On the contrary, when the temperature increased from 30°C to 20°C, the volume of sales can drop by half."

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Updated Date: 24 June 2019, 00:00

Kathleen Lees


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