Posted Jul 22, 2022, 10:10 AM
While the executive is preparing to increase the rebate at the pump with a view to reaching an agreement with the LR deputies in the Assembly, the Economic Analysis Council (CAE), an organization attached to Matignon, sheds light which should lead the discussion. In a study on “the financial situation of households at the start of the energy crisis”, he indeed shows that it is the wealthiest who benefit the most from the measure for a simple reason: they are also the biggest consumers of gasoline.
“They spend 200 euros per month on gasoline compared to 100 euros for the most modest”, indicated this Friday on France Inter the deputy president of the CAE, Philippe Martin. In euros, the discount of 18 cents on the price at the pump has benefited twice as much to the last decile of income as to the first decile: “18.50 euros against 9.50 euros” specifies the note. “Rebates are relatively ineffective and costly measures,” Philippe Martin recently judged in an interview with Les Echos.
Based on bank account data made available by Crédit Mutuel Alliance Fédérale at the end of June, the survey highlights the difficulties of the French in the face of the energy crisis. Thus, for a third of households, fuel costs represent at least 8% of their consumption. Which would make them “dependent” on gasoline. A “little half” of them would be “financially constrained”. Among them, rural and peri-urban households, workers and employees, young people, those with low financial assets are over-represented.
And the CAE notes that rather than restricting their fuel consumption in the face of soaring prices, this population has preferred to adjust its other expenses. This allowed him to maintain a constant budget in value.
The most modest had, it is true, already used in the summer of 2021 the additional savings accumulated during the Covid pandemic. What had already shown a study of the CAE in March. Despite the surge in prices, what was left of their savings, in euros, did not move between June 2021 and June 2022, and was therefore chipped away by inflation.
No more current accounts in the red
In the end, the cautious behavior of the less well-off combined with the numerous household support measures undertaken since the fall of 2021 by the executive (revaluation of the energy check, capping of gas and electricity prices, etc.) have avoided a “ very strong and widespread deterioration in the financial situation of households due to the energy crisis and the return of inflation”, according to the study.
Thus, the number of households whose current account is in the red has not increased. Except among retirees who maintain their spending at the same level as before the crisis and do not draw on their savings. “Which suggests that their real consumption is falling,” according to the CAE.
As for the wealthiest households, their woolen socks have certainly deflated slightly in recent months. But it remains full. According to the study, “in June 2022, their stock of savings would be more than 10% higher” than it was before the health crisis.