After a 2022 edition marked by inflation, the French are preparing to experience a slightly quieter holiday season: this is, in any case, the conclusion of a survey* carried out by the Research Center for the study and observation of living conditions (Credoc). Unveiled exclusively by Le Figaro, this note underlines that our compatriots will continue to make efforts this year, but they still believe they can enjoy themselves more. Enough to hope for good gifts under the tree...
Falling from 6.2% to 3.4% between November 2022 and November 2023, inflation over one year slowed considerably, as many experts expected. If prices still do not fall, the surge in bills is gradually normalizing, easing the budgetary constraints on households. They therefore declare that they are a little more ready to dip into their savings for the holidays, while the horizon is brightening slightly: “We are observing this fall a certain decline in the budgetary restrictions envisaged for the period,” notes the study . 57% of French people surveyed say they are considering reducing their holiday spending compared to last year, a proportion that is certainly significant, but much lower than the 72% recorded a year earlier. The “forecasts of budgetary restrictions” decline on all expenditure items, such as meals, gifts, travel or decorations. While they are willing to tighten their belts on transportation or food, consumers are trying to save children's gifts, an item on which fewer individuals want to make an effort.
The people questioned were also optimistic about the economic situation: a little more than one in two French people - 54% - said they were ready to face an unforeseen expense by drawing on their reserves in October, compared to only 43% a year later. early. “Issues about inflation are widely reported in the press, which means that the start of a slowdown has been noted. People see it in their daily lives,” notes Marianne Bléhaut, director of the data and economy division at Credoc. An observation that goes hand in hand with that made by INSEE last week: national statisticians then indicated that household morale improved slightly in November. Individuals said they were more confident about their personal financial situation, as well as about the opportunity to make major purchases. At the same time, the share of households worried about inflation decreased.
If the overall observation is encouraging, a significant portion of our compatriots continue to make efforts despite everything. Nearly eight out of ten French people will hunt for promotions, but the share of people ready to “compromise on quality”, by buying low prices or from hard discounters, is decreasing. Likewise, the share of French people buying second-hand, favoring homemade goods or reducing the quantity of goods purchased is declining, a symbol of less constrained purchasing power.
Unsurprisingly, not everyone is equal when it comes to inflation, and the slowdown in the price surge has left the most humble behind. Couples with children or single-parent families are among those most keen to tighten their belts: “The intention to reduce spending for the end-of-year holidays has only decreased among them by 4 points, compared to 15 on average,” notes the study. Likewise, they “wish to preserve gifts for children, but they are twice as likely as the average to consider reducing this budget”.
As Christmas approaches, we therefore see a “double movement”: the loosening of constraints, perceptible to the majority of French people, “is not accessible to everyone,” summarizes Marianne Bléhaut. Having fun does not mean that there is a general loosening of economic constraints. Difficulties may persist, but for some French people, it will be possible to have more fun, concludes the expert.
*To obtain these results, Credoc questioned, during two surveys, a representative sample of 3,000 people aged 15 and over, and a second of 2,000 adults. This work was carried out during the same period as last year, thus making it possible to faithfully compare the evolution of trends. “The surveys are conducted online, and respondents are selected using the quota method,” the institution also specifies.