As soon as the oil rises, the French spend less

THE ECO SCAN – In April, consumer spending on goods rose only 0.1%.

Clearly, French households are very sensitive to the price of oil. In April, grew by only 0.1%, according to INSEE. We are far from the increases of 1.5% in December and 0.5% in January. At the time, oil prices were down sharply: Brent hit a low point in mid-January at $ 47 a barrel. Since then, the barrel has risen to 62 dollars. The French were immediately less spendthrift.

In fact, apart from oil, few elements support the purchasing power of households. The is still poorly oriented: in March, 28,000 people joined the ranks of those registered with Pôle Emploi in ABC categories (without any activity or in reduced activity). And the increase in remains moderate: at the last score in the fourth quarter of 2014, it did not exceed 1.4% over one year. As for the abolition of the first income tax bracket for low-income households, it will not be felt until next September.

However, the recovery does not seem threatened. Despite the recent rise, oil prices remain low compared to their levels of previous years (100 to 110 dollars per barrel). “The accommodating policy of the European Central Bank should last, the drop in business costs (CICE and responsibility pact) is gradually starting to bear fruit,” adds Charles-Antoine Schwerer, economist at the Asterès cabinet. The European Commission expects growth of 1.1% for France in 2015, after 0.2% in 2014.