The month of March does not look auspicious for the purchasing power of the French. At least in the retail sector. At this very moment, annual negotiations are being held between manufacturers and distributors to determine the wholesale price of products that will then be presented on supermarket shelves. And the trends that emerge do not encourage optimism.
“Inflation will continue for at least the first six months of the year and is expected to peak between April and June,” the report said. JDDMichel-Édouard Leclerc, president of the centers of the same name, last January. Resolutely pessimistic forecasts, however, shared by Olivier Dauvers, a journalist specializing in mass distribution, for whom the French have every reason to fear large-scale inflation from next month. “Distributors cannot keep price increases to themselves, nor can manufacturers do so with rising production costs. So inevitably, all of this will affect the consumer.”, he regrets. .
Inflation that could flirt with the 10% mark
According to him, said inflation could gradually reach 7, 8 and then 9% in addition to the 13% observed today on food products. “In a few weeks, we will have the same inflation that we had in several months last year. This is the reason why I often use the expression ‘red March'”.
Soaring gas and electricity prices are indeed forcing producers to revise their bills upwards. Some goods like animal products, whose production requires a large amount of energy, could be particularly affected by this new wave of inflation. “The biggest suppliers of kibble for dogs and cats, Nestlé and Mars, are asking for increases of 17 to 39%”, affirmed Michel-Édouard Leclerc, still in the JDD.
“A very fertile ground for a form of popular revolt”
But in general, “all products will be concerned”, specifies Olivier Dauvers. “We cannot say that there will be categories that will be spared because everything we put on our plate requires energy. We are therefore heading towards diffuse inflation”. A speech that contrasts radically with the optimism displayed by Bruno Le Maire and reaffirmed this week. “I say it with great force, let’s stop playing with the fear of the French. I must say that these speeches about red March, black December, all the colors of the rainbow go through it, but it’s not not the reality”, declared the Minister of the Economy this Monday on RMC.
A position that Olivier Dauvers describes as “political denial”, which could, according to him, lead to a wind of revolt in society. “There is an expectation of discount in France. And unfortunately, inflation makes this impossible. The risk being that some people feel downgraded. The last time there was this feeling was during the crisis of yellow vests. There is very fertile ground for a form of popular revolt”.