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Depression, deprivation… What inflation does to the French

According to a study, more than a third of French people only have 100 euros on the 10th of the month and half of them skip a meal for lack of money.

By Valentin Dechambre for Le Point

More than one in two consumers (58%) have reduced their food expenditure for financial reasons in the last 12 months (photo illustration).

Dare alarming figures. In a study published on Thursday 1er June for the MonPetitForfait site, Ifop studied the various effects of the financial insecurity caused by inflation, in May at 5.1% over one year, on the French population. The figures revealed by the survey “show that the financial anxiety of the French, far from being an irrational feeling, is indeed the fruit of a real deterioration in their purchasing power, not without worrying consequences for their bodies as well as their mind,” says the pollster.

More than half of French people surveyed say they have cut back on their food budget over the last twelve months for financial reasons, compared to 29% in 2007. Thus, they find themselves forced to “skip meals regularly or occasionally” (up 7 points since June 2022). For 28% of those surveyed, skipping a meal is a “regular” practice. The majority of respondents (66%) claim that their financial situation has deteriorated sharply compared to last year.

worrying mental health

If inflation is synonymous with deprivation for some French people, it is also a source of anxiety, depression and suicidal thoughts. “The current price hike does not only lead to a reduction in the material living conditions of the poorest French people”, it also weakens their mental health, explains the Ifop study. “Anxiodepressive disorders are much more frequent in the fraction of the population most in financial difficulty, whatever the indicator used. People in financial difficulty are thus those who display levels of distress well above average.

READ ALSOCoignard – Anti-inflation fight: the government’s leaky basket

After deducting “constrained” expenses from bank accounts (rent, electricity, etc.), 31% of French people find themselves with a “rest to live on” of less than 100 euros in their bank account. 10% of them are even overdrawn. This figure jumps among those most in distress: 47% of respondents suffering from “suicidal thoughts” arrive with less than 100 euros on the 10th of the month.

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