Nearly six out of ten French people say they have limited their non-essential expenses (clothing, leisure, etc.) or pay particular attention to the price of the products they buy.
All signals on purchasing power are red. The latest CSA Research barometer for Cofidis*, published on Tuesday, bears witness to this. According to this, the French lack an average of 510 euros each month to live decently and not to have to worry about their budget at the end of the month. This is 43 euros more than last year, and even a record since the creation of the barometer in 2014.
A sum that the French would spend mainly on food (53%) and, far behind, on energy (29%). That is, the items of expenditure for which the price increase felt over the past year is the most widely shared (respectively 82% and 80%). Proof that many households are struggling to meet their basic needs (food, heating), leisure comes only in third position – after food and energy – of the items in which the French would spend a surplus of virtual income.
Compared to the 2021 barometer, purchasing power has thus largely decreased in 2022, unsurprisingly given the context (high inflation, energy crisis), the number one concern of the French (54%). Far ahead of health (34%), leading last year, and the environment (27%). Insecurity, third in 2021, comes out of the podium (24%).
Pessimism about the future
Purchasing power in decline over the past ten years, according to the general feeling of the French. Nearly seven out of ten respondents (68%) consider that their purchasing power has rather decreased over the last decade. The current inflation cocktail (+5.8% in August over one year according to INSEE) and soaring energy prices have something to do with it, since this figure is up 18 points compared to last year.
And the French are pessimistic about the future. Two-thirds of respondents (66%) expect to see their purchasing power decline over the next twelve months. An increase of 29 points compared to the barometer carried out last year. INSEE’s forecasts for the year 2022 are less alarmist. Over the year 2022, the Institute of Statistics estimates that purchasing power should fall by only 0.5% compared to 2021. After contracting sharply in the first half of the year, it should rebound in the third and fourth quarters. .
To cope with the current inflation, the French have already changed their habits. Nearly six in ten say they have limited their non-essential spending, primarily clothing and leisure (59%) or pay particular attention to the price of the products they buy, for example by looking for the lowest prices (58 %). And 30% claim to have postponed projects they had this year (works, moving, events, etc.).
“The pessimism of the French in the face of the gravity of the situation is felt in many respects: they postpone their projects, restrict themselves in their daily purchases and try to find solutions to alleviate the impact of inflation.», Comments Mathieu Escarpit, Marketing Director at Cofidis France. And many French people are preparing to have to tighten their belts even more in the future, since two thirds of those polled believe that the current restrictions on their budget will not be sufficient.
*Survey carried out on a sample of 1007 French people, representative of the French population aged 18 and over, self-administered online from July 4 to 11, 2022, constituted according to the quota method on the following criteria: sex , age, profession, region of residence and category of agglomeration.
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