Upper Garonne. In 2022, the departmental economy is still in a fog

The health crisis has finally begun to subside and economic recovery has begun. But a return to some sort of normality will have to wait. In 2022, the atmosphere quickly darkened again. Russia has invaded Ukraine, and the planet has once again plunged into fog after the arrival of Covid-19. Therefore, at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Toulouse (CCI) in Toulouse Haute-Garonne, the presentation of the Business Review took place in a special atmosphere. “We are aware of the many uncertainties associated with the current conflict,” admits Philippe Leon, First Vice President of the Chamber of Commerce and Director of Toulouse Stylos, who has made no secret of his concerns about rising raw material and energy prices.

“Our economy at the national and regional levels is entering this rather strong new crisis. This situation will affect countries differently. For example, European countries have suffered more than the United States. But inside Europe, we are far from the most worried,” says Stephane Latouche, regional director of the Banque de France in Occitania. Exports to Russia and Ukraine account for just “0.66% of the European Union’s GDP,” according to a Banque de France spokesman. He then chose to focus on the good news for 2021: “Recovery confirmed at the national, regional and departmental level. In Occitania we are one step below in terms of industry, but on average in other regions in terms of construction and market services. »

2021, the year of the economic recovery of the Haute-Garonne

Now it’s time to focus on the Haute-Garonne, where 1,697 companies were surveyed. The recovery is being felt in terms of turnover (+7.3%) and labor force (+1.1%). 78% of companies report a “healthy economic environment”. “2023 was the horizon for a return to pre-crisis economic levels. Given the context, we will have to wait a little longer,” Philippe Leon laments. The analysis continues across sectors. “Departmental aeronautics is gradually coming out of the crisis, which deeply destabilized it. [1].

The sector had to part with 10% of its jobs and its turnover was reduced by a third in 2020,” recalls Marie-Anne Hugo Magnan from the research and regional planning department of the Chamber of Commerce of Toulouse. In 2021, turnover in the sector increased slightly (+5.2%), but wage employment continued to decline (-6.9%), in particular as a result of the Job Protection Plans (PSE) last year. In 2022, aeronautics entrepreneurs are looking for an 11.3% increase in turnover and a 3.9% increase in staff. However, 30% of aviation companies “still have cash flow problems.”

For BtoB activities, a rebound is also seen on the turnover rate (+7.1%), but not on the labor side (-0.3%). In 2022, turnover is expected to grow by 7.2% and by 4.3% for employees. Construction performed well in 2021, with turnover up 10.4% and employment up 3.2%. Uncertainty about materials affects forecasts for 2022. The sector only hopes for a 2.5% increase in turnover.

Reimbursement of PGEs, “time bomb? »

At the end of the presentation, disagreement was expressed between CCI and Banque de France. Philippe Leon was very concerned about the repayment of state-guaranteed loans (PGE). For some VSE or SME, “this is a ticking time bomb! alarmed even Toulouse leader Stylos, who recommends a “ten-year repayment term” for the most struggling companies. The regional director of the Banque de France in Occitania was less lenient that a return to “a more normal functioning of the economy” was needed, and that some companies had deeper problems that could not save them “from going to court.” Economic Court”.

Matthias Hardoy

Photographs: Toulouse Chamber of Commerce //Marie-Anne Hugo Magnan, from the research and regional planning department of the Toulouse Chamber of Commerce in the center, on the left is Nadège Fantin from the same department and on the right, Philippe Leon, CCI First Vice President and Director of Toulouse Stylos. Credits: Remy Gabalda – Tuleco.


[1] Before the crisis, the capacity utilization of the aerospace industry was 92%. In 2021, it was 61%. At the end of February it reached 71%.

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