Food prices in France surge
Prices for food and beverages sold in French supermarkets soared 13.1% in July on an annualized basis, according to the latest data published by the national statistics bureau INSEE.
In particular, prices of meat and drinks rose by 11.3% and 10.1% respectively, while other food products saw price increases of up to 15%. Meanwhile, the cost to French consumers of cleaning and personal care products increased by 9.4%.
The annual inflation rate in France stood at 4.3% last month, down from a record 4.5% increase marked in June, remaining in line with preliminary estimates and marking the lowest since February 2022. Inflation reportedly eased due to declines in energy prices and to more moderate increases in the prices of food and manufactured products.
Last month, the French government sent a 2024 spending plan to parliament that calls for a €4.2 billion ($4.7 billion) cut in outlays, marking the first reduction in nearly ten years. Paris is planning to spend €428.8 billion in 2024 as the nation is targeting a budget deficit of 4.4% of gross domestic product (GDP) for 2024, down from a goal of 4.9% this year.
The aim is to bring that below 3%, the limit set under European Union rules, by the end of the second term of President Emmanuel Macron in 2027.
The spending cut comes on top of an urgent need to reduce the sovereign debt, which reached 111.6% of the nation’s GDP. The austerity measures are expected to ensure the reduction of public debt to 108.3% of the economy by 2027.
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