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The purchasing power of the French is falling, despite an increase in wages

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The basic monthly salary growth index and the consumer price index were published on Friday 13 May. They show an increase for the month of April, but also reveal that prices are rising faster than French wages.

According to figures from the Directorate for the Animation of Research, Studies and Statistics (Dares), the basic hourly wage of all employees increased by 1.1% in the first quarter of this year. In one year, the salary of the French will have increased by 2.3%.

This is an increase that is not enough to offset inflation, while it reached 4.8% in April, annual rate, according to INSEE. Over one year and in constant euros, the basic monthly salary therefore decreases by 2.3%”notes the Dares.

The minimum wage has been revalued

The minimum wage, the value of which is automatically revalued when inflation exceeds 2%, is not affected. It increased by 2.65% on 1er may. It had already increased by 2.2% on 1er October and by 0.9% on 1er January, so that its growth remains higher than inflation.

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→ READ. What can the state do to raise wages?

But most socio-professional categories are affected by the drop in purchasing power. The Dares indicators show that the effects of inflation lead to a reduction in the wages of workers by 2.2%, that of employees by 2% and that of intermediate professions and managers by 2.7% compared to 2021.

Energy prices down, other products and services up

Among the products most affected by price increases: meat (+ 4.2%), bread and cereals (+ 4%), coffee (+ 6.2%), but especially oils and fats ( +7.2%). As a result of shortages caused by the war in Ukraine, the cost of commercial edible oils has increased by 5.9% since the start of the year.

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The 2.5% drop in energy prices between March and April softens the bill, but prices in this sector are still 26.5% higher than in 2021. The discount at the pump put in place at the start of April by the government enabled a reduction in the cost of diesel and gasoline (–6.8% in one month). The electricity bill will still have climbed, the result of the annual rise of 54.4% in the price of gas.

The prices of services also increased by 3% over one year, particularly in terms of transport services (+ 15.7%) with in particular a 22.4% increase in the prices of air transport. Accommodation and tourist services also experienced strong price growth (+19.6%). With the approach of the summer holidays, the bill could be substantial.

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