In a gloomy economic context, consumption is falling. Household consumption expenditure on goods fell by 1.3% in France in December, notably weighed down by purchases of food products down 1.7%, INSEE said on Tuesday.
In a context of sharp price increases (around 6% over one year), “over the whole of the fourth quarter of 2022, household consumption of goods fell by 1.9%”, specifies the National Institute of Statistics and economic studies (INSEE).
In November, the indicator rose by 0.6% (a variation revised upwards by 0.1 point compared to INSEE’s first estimate), after a sharp fall of 2.7% in October. The drop in the indicator in December “is explained by the decrease in consumption of food products and manufactured goods (-1.7%)”, indicates the Institute.
Food purchases down for the seventh consecutive month
Purchases of food products fell for the seventh consecutive month, and over the whole of the fourth quarter, they fell back by 2.8%. This tumble is explained by the two-digit inflation that has plagued food products for several months.
Energy prices have also been rising sharply for months, but in December the energy consumption of French households still rose by 0.7%, according to INSEE.
“This new increase is mainly due to gas consumption, electricity consumption remaining on a downward trend”, comment the statisticians.
“Over the whole of the fourth quarter of 2022, energy consumption fell by 5.5%, in connection with a very mild autumn and no doubt also with the energy sobriety efforts” to which the government urged in September in the face of tensions of energy supply. Conversely, purchases of manufactured goods fell by almost 2% in December, mainly penalized by the decline in purchases of durable goods (-3.5% after +2.2% in November).