Persistence of inflation reignites debate on who wins from rising prices

A student in front of a bag of food and hygiene products that she received from the Delivr'aide ociation, in Toulouse, May 10, 2023.

HAS Who benefits from the crisis? The recurring question is imposing itself in force in this political and social return marked by inflation and the decline in purchasing power. While Bruno Le Maire, the Minister of the Economy and Finance, like Sister Anne, waits for the labels on packets of pasta and toothpaste to finally reflect the drop in the price of raw materials, the bosses of m distribution are taking turns on the waves to accuse manufacturers of taking indecent margins.

Also read the decryption: Article reserved for our subscribers Inflation: prices of services, such as transport or health, closely monitored

“For the consumer, inflation is an unequal tax, a tax which is not discussed in Parliament. We should all be in combat mode against inflation but, in France, decision-makers seem to be okay with it”tackled, Friday September 8, on BFM-TV, Michel-Edouard Leclerc, president of the strategic committee of the independent network.

“Mechanically, this generates revenue for the State” – linked to the increase in the VAT base – and “for businesses, it’s a breath of fresh air” on turnover, even on margins, launched the ace of controversy, omitting to specify that its brand, leader in France, has continued to nibble away at market share since the start of the inflationary crisis.

Does the loss-making purchase of households really bring happiness to public coffers? “The State does not win in times of inflation. This is a bad process: yes, VAT revenues can increase, but operating, investment and state intervention expenses are also increasing, not to mention protection measures for the French. More than 90 billion euros were spent to protect them from inflation: energy shields, the revaluation of social minimums, the purchasing power package…”retorts, WorldThomas Cazenave, the delegate minister responsible for public accounts.

Thursday September 14, it was Xavier Bertrand, the president of the Hauts-de-France region, who criticized the State for being “a jackpot” thanks to the increase in fuel prices. What Bercy vigorously contested, with supporting figures.

The debate on the winners and losers of inflation expected at 5% in 2023 (4.9% in August, according to figures published Friday September 15) appears all the more legitimate as the gap between a France in good shape and The other that struggles is continually expanding. On the flip side, the CAC 40 index, up nearly 15% over one year, is near the peaks, and the dividends paid in the second quarter (around 50 billion euros) are at their highest.

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