The French are forced to consume differently. Weakened by galloping inflation – 5.2% in May 2022 over one year according to INSEE – households must arbitrate daily expenses. This is the first time since 1985 that the consumer interest rate index has jumped so much. However, “unlike the 1970s and 1980s, many consumers are not used to this phenomenon”, warns Jérémy Ducros, economist for the general interest association La finance pour tous. What worries them all the more is that “we don’t know how long it will last; there is great heterogeneity, for example between the prices of energy which are exploding and those of food which are increasing, but less quickly”, reports La Dépêche with AFP.

According to estimates by the Minister of the Economy Bruno Le Maire, this uncertain economy could continue. He is betting on an exit “from the peak of inflation” on the horizon “at the end of 2023”.

As a first consequence, consumers are reducing their shopping list, as are the small pleasures.

According to a survey by the Inflation Observatory of the 60 Million Consumers Association, published on June 1, the average additional cost in the French budget is substantial. In order to “absorb the general rise in prices” they have to spend “on average 90 euros more” each month.

“With a 20% increase, fuels already force you to pay an average of 27 euros more per month”, points out the study. As for energy bills (25%), they “cause additional levies of an average amount of 32 euros per month”, can we read there. Finally, the “general increase of 7% in everyday consumer products, expected this summer, will lead to an additional expense of 30 euros [on average] per household each month”: a family thus pays an average of 38 euros more, compared to 21 euros for a childless couple.

For the middle classes, whose share of the budget dedicated to constrained expenses (food, rent, energy, daily journeys, etc.) is lower than for the most precarious, the first arbitrations are made on non-essential poles.

So what are the products and other services that consumers skip first? Check them out in our slideshow below.