ORIGINAL FRENCH ARTICLE: Pouvoir d’achat et consommation en berne en France
Translated Tuesday 21 May 2013, by
The purchasing power of French households chalked up a record 0.9% fall in 2012. The French statistical bureau also revised the 0.4% fall in the household consumption index for last year.
In 2012, gross disposable household income increased by only 0.9% in value, as against 2.7% the previous year. At the same time, consumer prices rose by 1.9% (as against 2.1% in 2011). Energy prices rose more slowly. Hence, the purchasing power of disposable income fell by 0.9% after a slight rise of 0.7% the previous year.
The fall in the purchasing power of each French household is in fact worse than those figures would indicate, since the INSEE’s raw figures are for all households. Taking population growth into account, purchasing power at the individual level in fact fell by 1.5%, whereas it was stable in 2011. This is the sharpest drop that has been chalked up since 1984 (a 1.9% fall).
For the CGT trade union confederation, “the recessionary drift of our economy is caused by the excessive cost of capital, the under-payment of labor, and the precarious employment of workers.” To escape the austerity spiral, the trade union confederation is calling for a change in political course through: “an immediate hike in wages, pensions, and welfare, the creation of steady jobs, and the setting up of veritable career social security.”