Antoine Bienvault / Photo credit: Idhir Baha / Hans Lucas / Hans Lucas via AFP 14:15 pm, September 02, 2023

Inflation picked up again in August and rebounded to 4.8% year-on-year. An increase in prices that is felt at the supermarket. The situation could start to improve early next year, especially because of the agreement reached on Thursday between the Minister of Economy and distributors.

"Back to school at the best price", "cheap back-to-school"... These posters are multiplying in supermarkets and promise to protect the purchasing power of the French. If the intention is laudable, the feeling is not necessarily the same at the time of checkout. Especially since the start of the school year is particularly expensive this year.

"The note is too salty"

After a slight lull in early summer, inflation jumped again in August. More and more full-bodied additions at the restaurant, at the gas pump, but also and especially at the supermarket. The consumers Europe 1 met are unanimous: the checkout is painful at the end of summer.

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"When I go shopping, I spend a lot more compared to a few months ago," notes one customer. "It becomes a luxury to eat when it is the basis of everything," regrets another. "On basic hygiene products, we really have to do something about prices," whispers a lady. "I'm hallucinating about the price of coffee, 2.50 euros coffee, it's absurd," plagues a young woman looking at the products in the shelf. "I find that the note is very salty, it would be necessary that the industrialists put themselves in step, but we are not there yet," analyzes a last.

Towards a price drop in early 2024?

Shopping is still too expensive for the majority of these customers, but the situation could soon improve. First, because the Minister of the Economy, Bruno Le Maire, reached an agreement with distributors on Thursday to block or reduce the price of 5,000 products in stores. And because the cost of raw materials is falling and could therefore lower prices on the shelves.

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"What will happen is that the government will push to pass on the fall in the price of raw materials to the prices of large retailers," predicts economist Pascal de Lima. "The idea is to pass on this drop in production costs to final prices so that from January the French can see lower prices in their store."

A possible improvement by January, but in the meantime, consumers continue to suffer from soaring prices. And this is even felt even on the plate, because according to INSEE, 15% of French people would skip a meal a day for lack of provisions.