The rise in consumer prices in France slowed in September, to 5.6% over one year, against 5.9% in August, according to provisional data published Friday by INSEE. After August, this is the second year-on-year slowdown since July 2021, when inflation was limited to 1.2%.
This decline in inflation is due to the “slowdown” in the rise in energy and service prices, explains the National Institute of Statistics in a press release.
Energy prices are following in the footsteps of oil prices, which are suffering from fears of recession. The barrel of Brent fluctuated at the end of September below 89 dollars, down a little less than 4% over the month.
For the economist of ING Charlotte de Montpellier, for whom this drop in pressure was “expected but in trompe-l’oeil”, France benefits above all from the public policies put in place, in particular the rebate on the price of fuel, inflated in September but which will gradually decrease to die out at the end of the year.
“This is not a sign of the moderation of inflationary pressures,” said Ms. de Montpellier. The economist is counting on a further acceleration of inflation “in November and December, when the reduction in prices at the pump will decrease”.
It is also based on industrial producer price indicators published Friday by INSEE: up 2.3% over one month, they show an increase of 27.7% over one year in August. “We know that this is reflected later on consumer prices. There there are still clearly inflationary pressures,” argues Ms. de Montpellier.
– Risk of recession –
The government expects a decline in inflation “during 2023”.
“The fall in inflation in September is certainly good news, although it is too early to declare victory, as the pressure on the energy sector is expected to intensify in the coming months,” warns its side Diego Iscaro, economist for S
In terms of service prices, price growth slowed to 3.2% over one year in September, against 3.9% the previous month. This reflects the abolition of the audiovisual license fee, which fell into this category, notes Charlotte de Montpellier. INSEE also highlights a seasonal effect in the prices of certain tourism-related services, down from last year when September had benefited from a craze with the relaxation of health restrictions.
Over the same period, the rise in food prices reached 9.9% in September. The prices of fresh products increased by 11% over one year, against 3.5% in August. The rise in the prices of manufactured products continues at a moderate pace (3.6% against 3.5% in August).
The harmonized consumer price inflation index (HICP), which serves as a basis for comparison at European level, increased by 6.2% over one year in September, against 6.6% in August. Over one month, the HICP fell by 0.5%, against 0.5% the previous month.
For Diego Iscaro, the slowdown in inflation observed in September “may not be enough” to avoid a recession in France, with an energy sector under pressure and “increasing levels of uncertainty”.
“With pandemic-related demand for services weakening, consumer confidence collapsing and pressure on household finances, private consumption is likely to lose much of its momentum at the end of 2022.” , he believes.
According to figures published Friday by INSEE, household consumption in France remained completely stable (0.0%) in August. In recent months, household spending has not shown a clear direction: it fell by 0.9% in July, after two small consecutive increases in May (0.4%) and June (0.1%).