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Inflation in France: Could it reach double figures next year?

The economy minister has played down the risk of double-figure price rises across most products, in response to a warning by Leclerc

A photo of a man looking at receipts while in a supermarket

Double-figure price rises may be expected for food items, the head of E. Leclerc has said, but the economy minister has played down the risk across other sectors Pic: Denys Kurbatov / Shutterstock

The French government has sought to play down the risk of ‘double figure’ inflation in 2023, after the head of supermarket giant E. Leclerc said it was already happening when it comes to food prices.

Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire said that he was not expecting to see such high price increases in all sectors, despite Michel-Édouard Leclerc warning that a “tsunami” of high prices could be on the horizon.

Mr Le Maire told FranceInfo: “We will not have double-figure inflation across most French products in 2023. All of our policies are aiming for inflation to fall. That is our work’s central hypothesis.”

The Economy Ministry has estimated that prices will have risen “a little more than 5%” across all sectors by the end of 2022.

Mr Le Maire was responding to comments from Mr Leclerc, who said on November 8 that people in France should expect to see “double figure” inflation when it comes to food products in 2023. The minister admitted that “double-figure inflation is already a reality for food products”. 

Read more: What food products have risen most in price in France? 

A recent report from national financial auditor l’Inspection générale des finances (IGF), dated November 6, said: “Some food products have seen particularly high price rises, for example, 60% for oils, 22% for flour, 20% for pasta, and 16% for poultry” over the past year.

Mr Le Maire also said that inflation is still “very high…which is extraordinarily difficult for all of our citizens”. 

However, he said that the government was still working to temper the worst of the rises, with continuing electricity and gas price caps, and rebates on petrol until the end of the year. 

Read more: Petrol and diesel prices rising again in France after sustained fall 

Read more: French fuel prices rise over €2 a litre in places amid shortages 

Despite this, prices are not expected to drop within the next few months. In August this year. Mr Le Maire predicted: “Until the end of the year 2022, we will continue to see very high prices.

“And then, at the start of 2023, at least, that’s what we’re predicting, we will start to see prices and inflation begin to retreat. That will happen gradually.”

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