CES 2021 - Microsoft announces the Surface Pro 7+ 2-in-1 PC and the deployment of its 85 ″ Surface Hub 2S

Microsoft is unveiling the Surface Pro 7+, a 2-in-1 laptop PC for business and education, which benefits from some improvements over version 7. The Surface Hub 2S digital board will ship in February. Rumors are rife that a Surface Pro 8 will be released soon. To be patient and to satisfy professionals, Microsoft unveils its Surface Pro 7+, a revised version of the Surface Pro 7 promised as more efficient.    Among the major evolutions of this new model, we note first of all the passage of the Intel Core processors from the 10th to the 11th generation. Storage will still be capped at 1TB, but a maximum of 32GB of RAM can now be installed, down from just 16GB previously. The SSD will also be removable and a Full HD webcam integrated into the Surface.  4G is now supported with a SIM card slot and eSIM support. Plus, battery life gets a big boost, from 10:30 am to 3:00 pm - on paper anyway - with a fast charge to 80% in an hour. The Surface 7 Pro +

France's trade deficit will widen significantly this year

With the Covid-19 crisis, the Rexecode Institute expects a hole of 68 billion euros in 2020 against 58 billion last year. Exports could plunge by nearly 100 billion euros, notably because of the slowdown in aeronautics.

France's trade deficit will widen significantly this year

If there is one area that is being challenged, at least in the short term, by the Covid-19 crisis, it is that of exports. By crippling much of the planet's economy, the coronavirus has effectively attacked globalization. But above all, it affected certain sectors in which France excels, such as aeronautics. Aviation exports amounted to 64 billion euros last year and the sector's trade surplus reached 30 billion euros in 2019, by far the largest. France's foreign trade is therefore being attacked head-on when it has just started to climb back up.

While the foreign trade deficit reached 58 billion euros last year, the Rexecode Institute expects a hole of 68 billion euros in 2020. And again, the price of oil has fallen since the start of the pandemic. But exports are expected to fall by more than 90 billion euros, according to its experts. Euler Hermes economists even predict a fall of 100 billion. In aeronautics alone, exports are expected to fall by 10 billion euros. 

It must be said that, according to INSEE, the aeronautical factories in France were only running 73% of their production capacities at the end of August, after having been almost at a standstill during confinement and that air transport had to hard to take off again. The chemicals and food industry will also be severely affected. "Very focused on the European Union, the French exporting apparatus will suffer from the European recession expected this year", explain the economists of Euler Hermes in a study. Best of all, the euro has appreciated on average 5% against other currencies in one year. Global imports, they will decline less, of the order of 80 billion this year, predicts Rexecode.

One more point of GDP pushes up imports by 3.1%

“Among the large developed economies, it is in France that GDP growth drives the largest increase in imports, along with Italy. But Italy has an export capacity greater than that of France, "said Selin Ozyurt, economist at Euler Hermes. According to his calculations, one point of growth in French GDP leads on average to an increase in imports of 3.1 points. In the case of Germany, one point of growth pushes up imports by 2.1%.

For this expert, “this crisis has reinforced France's dependence on imports. We have seen that, despite the shutdown of the economy during the lockdown, the country still had to import products ". In the second quarter, exports plunged 29% with the shutdown of factories while, despite the drop in consumption, imports fell only 21%. The country's dependence on the purchase of Chinese masks also weighed heavily.

85% of exporting companies were selling abroad this summer

However, since the end of confinement, the recovery is real. According to the latest Business France barometer, which surveyed more than 8,000 exporting companies, 85% of them had an export activity in July-August while they were only 69% in this case in June. Moreover, France's exports to the euro zone and the United States returned this summer to 85% of their level in the fourth quarter of 2019, against only 60% in April. 

The recovery "nevertheless comes up against three obstacles to go further: the weakness of Chinese domestic demand, global trade tensions and Brexit", according to Julien Manceaux, economist at ING bank. Not to mention the return of health uncertainties and closures in some countries.

Among the companies surveyed by Business France, 45% of those who continue to export cite the lack of visibility as their main difficulty. While the number of exporting companies started to pick up last year, it is very likely to decline significantly this year. However, this is an indication of the vitality of the French productive fabric.