EXCLUSIVE SURVEY – Inflation, purchasing power: the concern of the French flies away

Emmanuel Macron interpellé à Marseille, le 2 juin.

We knew the worried public opinion and the beginnings of this very complicated second five-year term for Emmanuel Macron. But we didn’t know how much. The pessimism of the French literally explodes, against a backdrop of tensions over the costs and the purchasing power . According to the Ecoscope OpinionWay-Square barometer for “Les Echos” and Classic Radio published on Monday, three quarters of them (74%) believe that the tricolor economy “will deteriorate in the coming months”.

An unprecedented level since the spring of 2021, even if it does not reach the records of the start of the Covid crisis. Since June 2021, the date which corresponds to the start of deconfinement, the increase has been 19 points. Conversely, they are only 10% to think that it will improve.

“Real renewed pessimism”

“There is a real resurgence of pessimism which affects all socio-professional categories and which, this time, is accompanied by a strong concern of the French about their personal situation”, observes Bruno Jeanbart, vice-president of the OpinionWay institute. .

Almost one in two people (47%) feel that their financial situation will deteriorate (with a peak of 54% among 50-64 year olds). That is an increase of 16 points in one year and a record since the fall of 2020. Only households earning 3,500 euros per month feel more protected. Employees also remain less worried about their company: only 29% expect a deterioration, 52% an unchanged situation.

These fears are mainly fueled by the price rise , which is fueled by the war in Ukraine. The fight against inflation is the “priority” economic subject for the French, cited by 78% of them (a further 19% find it “important”) ahead of the revival of activity and reindustrialisation. By comparison, the pension reform, highlighted by the Head of State during the last presidential campaign, is only a priority for 35% of respondents.

The pressure is strong on the Elysée tenant and on its Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne . Because if they do not believe that this is possible on pension reform or the reduction of public spending, nearly six out of ten French people believe that the executive “could find a majority in the National Assembly to act” on the recovery activity (59%), fight against inflation (58%) or reindustrialise France (54%). More than two-thirds of Emmanuel Macron’s voters in the first round of the presidential election think so.

“Do with what he has”

“The French do not currently have the feeling that the country is blocked and ungovernable. There is no absolute majority for the government but there is no absolute blocking majority either. It will be a difficulty for the President of the Republic: the French ask him to do with what he has”, deciphers Bruno Jeanbart, for whom the difficulty is rather that of political confidence, “through French, reinforced by the fact that there has been no momentum since the re-election of Emmanuel Macron”.

Confidence remains, it is true, very low, especially for the start of the five-year term. Despite the prospect of a law Project on the subject, 68% of those questioned do not “trust” the government to defend purchasing power. The same is true, but to a lesser extent (58%), with regard to the new Assembly .

In a now classic way, mistrust is still expressed in the fiscal arena. In the context, a majority of French people anticipate an increase in income tax (to 51%) and local taxes (to 71%). On the latter, the fear of an increase, stronger among the elderly and among those on low incomes, has increased by 10 points in one year.

VIDEO. Inflation: the rise in prices of 10 everyday products and services

To note

89% of Emmanuel Macron’s voters in the presidential election consider pension reform “priority” or “important”.

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