Nearly six out of ten French people say they have limited their non-essential spending (clothes, leisure, etc.) or pay special attention to the price of the products they buy.
All signs about purchasing power are red. The latest CSA Research barometer for Cofidis*, published on Tuesday, bears this out. According to this, the French lack an average of 510 euros each month to live with dignity and not have to worry about their budget at the end of the month. This represents 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%). In other words, the spending items in which the price increase has been felt in the last year are the most shared (82% and 80%, respectively). Proof that many households struggle to satisfy their basic needs (food, heating), leisure occupies only the third position – after food and energy – of the items on which the French would spend a surplus of virtual income.
Compared to the 2021 barometer, purchasing power has largely become in 2022, as expected given the context (high inflation, energy crisis), the main concern of the French (54%). Far ahead of health (34%), leader last year, and environment (27%). Insecurity, third in 2021, leaves the podium (24%).
pessimism about the future
Purchasing power in decline in the last ten years, according to the general feeling of the French. Almost seven out of ten respondents (68%) consider that their purchasing power has decreased significantly in the last decade. Something has to do with the current inflation cocktail (+5.8% in August in one year according to INSEE) and the rise in energy prices, since this figure is up 18 points compared to last year.
And the French are pessimistic about the future. Two-thirds of those surveyed (66%) expect to see their purchasing power decline in the next twelve months. An increase of 29 points compared to the barometer made last year. INSEE forecasts for the year 2022 are less alarmist. During the year 2022, the Institute of Statistics estimates that purchasing power should fall by only 0.5% compared to 2021. After contracting strongly in the first half of the year, it should rebound in the third and fourth quarters.
To cope with current inflation, the French have already changed their habits. Almost six in ten say they have limited their non-essential spending, mainly on clothes and leisure (59%) or pay special attention to the price of the products they buy, for example looking for the lowest prices (58%). And 30% say they have postponed projects they had this year (construction, removals, events, etc.).
“The pessimism of the French in the face of the seriousness of the situation is felt in many aspects: they postpone their projects, restrict their daily purchases and try to find solutions to mitigate the impact of inflation.», comments Mathieu Escarpit, Marketing Director of Cofidis France. And many French people are bracing for even more belt-tightening in the future, with two-thirds of those surveyed believing current budget constraints won’t be enough.
*Survey conducted on a sample of 1,007 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 agglomeration category.
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