Inflation stabilizes, but begins to weigh on household consumption

According to INSEE, in November, the price increase reached 6.2 % over a year in France, a stable figure compared to the previous month. But food prices are experiencing high increases.

by Béatrice Madeline

Often under constraint, the French start to cut in their expenses. In October, household consumption accused a net withdrawal of 2.8 %, the highest monthly decrease since April 2021, during the third confinement, according to data published Wednesday, November 30 by INSEE. The first declining consumption station is that of energy: the weather and repeated incentives for sobriety have a fairly clear impact in published data. Energy expenditure accuses a withdrawal of 7.9 % in October alone.

A “expected” drop, according to Julien Pouget, head of the Department of the economic situation at INSEE, “due to the mild weather which was able to hear the accommodation less”. But undoubtedly also by household efforts, which limit travel by car and monitor the thermostat of their accommodation. If inflation shows signs of stabilization, it remains on a high tray.

Prices are indeed increased by 6.2 % in November over a year, an unchanged figure compared to the previous month, according to provisional estimates. In November alone, they climbed 0.4 %, compared to 1 % in October. Nothing surprising, therefore, that households are more cautious in their consumption.

support measures

They restricted in the fall on purchases of manufactured goods ( – 1, 7 %). While waiting, no doubt, sales and promotions, shopping was not in season, and textile and shoes shops display a drop of 4.1 %. We also save at the supermarket: purchases are down for the fifth consecutive month, with a decline of 1.4 %.

Since October 2021, over a year, the household food cart – the volume of sales – has reduced by 7.5 %. A necessity which is explained by the surge of prices, since it is the prices of food, locomotive of inflation since September, which continue to lead the dance: in November, the labels on the markets and large areas have taken 12.2 % over one year – and even 12.5 % for fresh products.

Admittedly, the energy rates increased by 18.5 % over a year, but the decline is started: they were up 21.6 % in October 2021. To shed light on these consumption trends, the ‘INSEE has dissected the evolution of household purchasing power since the beginning of the year. The inflation shock, which started in the fall of 2021, led to a clear withdrawal of purchasing power ( – 1.8 %) per head in the first quarter 2022.

You have 46.97% of this article to read. The continuation is reserved for subscribers.

/Media reports cited above.