The situation is tough and getting bogged down. For several months, inflation has been climbing to a worrying level, not seen since the 1980s.
According to INSEE, in May 2022, consumer prices increased by 0.6% over one month, after rising by 0.4% between March and April 2022.
And since May 2021, inflation has reached a total of 5.2%. No sector seems spared: food, energy, services… The bill is salty for all French people.
But for some households, the impact is even greater.
Thus, a recent study by the French Observatory of Economic Conditions (OFCE) affirmed that households residing in rural areas suffer an average inflation of 3.8%, higher than urban inhabitants (3.4%).
Retirees are also among the big losers in purchasing power at the moment: for the OFCE, inflation climbs to 3.7% at home, against 2.5% for a student, for example, or 3.3 % for an asset.
Still, regardless of its weight, the inflation that has been raging since the start of the year has affected 60% of French households.
But for the authors of the report, “if we classify households according to their position on the scale of living standards, (…) poorer households experience less inflation”.
Why ? “Thanks to the aid schemes put in place by the government such as the one-off inflation allowance of 100 euros or the strengthening of the energy check against the explosion in the price of gas and fuel”, analyzes Mieux Vivre Votre Argent.
For economists, the loss of purchasing power would be greatest for households around the median income, the study indicates. That is to say €1,789 net of monthly income.
“Their expenses related to their hobbies or tourism are in fact disrupted”, explains specialist Philippe Crevel to Mieux Vivre Votre Argent.
And these households, precisely, neither too poor nor too rich, are often left behind in terms of aid.
Will they be able to benefit from the famous “food voucher”, promised by President-candidate Macron during his campaign, the terms of which have just been unveiled?
The contours of the food check are revealed. This device is intended as a “bandage for the most modest” in the face of inflation, explained Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne in early June.
The newspaper l’Express revealed that this measure should be put in place by decree, from the start of the school year, and the amount paid directly into the bank account of the 9 million French people concerned.
The check, worth 100 euros, to which will be added 50 euros per child, should thus be intended for the following households, according to information from the magazine:
A purchasing power bill, providing for other “boost” measures, would also be in the government’s drawers, and could also see the light of day at the start of the school year. But who is he really talking to?
“We will not be able to help everyone”, warned Eric Heyer, economist, at the OFCE, on franceinfo, Monday June 27.
Because the finances of the State are at their worst: the “alert coast” has even been reached.
The Minister of the Economy, Bruno le Maire, must present his law on purchasing power and its amending budget to the Council of Ministers on July 6.
What should it contain? And above all, to whom will these measures be addressed?
We already know that the minimum wage, indexed to inflation, will increase.
Otherwise, the government mainly provides targeted aid, to help low incomes, “both via benefits and APL”, specifies Eric Heyer.
For the other households, it does not matter whether inflation hits them hard or not, they will have to go back.
“Perhaps the government should take more targeted measures depending on where you live, your sector of activity or your age”, recommends the economist, still on franceinfo.