The great return of inflation, a fear “before the world before”

“With 5% inflation, France is in the race! “, proudly trumpeted a 1985 poster featuring a tricolor windsurf board spinning through the waves. The left then boasted of having mastered a galloping rise in prices in the wake of the two oil shocks of 1973 and 1979 … by establishing, in particular, a temporary price control.

Three decades later, inflation returns to the political debate. And with it, the weapon of price control, the Prime Minister, Jean Castex, having announced Thursday, September 30 a “Tariff shield” to counter the surge in energy prices. A resurgence of ” world before the world before “, summarizes the former Elyos adviser Julien Vaulpré, general manager of Taddeo.

Inflation in 2021, however, has nothing to do with that of the 1970s – at 2.1% over one year in September, compared to more than 13% in 1974 or 1981. “At this stage, it is more a political problem than an economic one, tempers Philippe Martin, deputy chairman of the Economic Analysis Council, attached to Matignon. But we can clearly see the sensitivity of the subject. Some prices are more visible than others, when energy or agrifood increases, it shows. “ In the polls, the theme of ” everything increases “ Thus emerges very clearly, notes Frédéric Dabi, Director General of the FIFG. The question of purchasing power clearly dominates that of unemployment, he believes. A curiosity coming out of the crisis.

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Already, inflation is being put forward by trade unions to demand wage increases, the argument now taking precedence over that of support for employees of the “second line”, which was essential, there are still some. month. “ The revaluation of wages will take on all the more importance as inflation picks up again ”, underlined Yves Veyrier, general secretary of Force Ouvrière, at the beginning of September. The number one of the CFDT, Laurent Berger, says, for his part, to fear “Pauperization” and “The precariousness of hundreds of thousands of families”, while the CGT sees it ” a major problem “. On the left, the former leader of the New Anti-Capitalist Party (NPA), Olivier Besancenot, pleaded, a few days ago, on Twitter, for an indexation of wages on inflation, taking up a demand for “yellow vests”, making her – same echo of the deindexation of wages decided … by the left in 1983: “Fuel, electricity, gas… everything is increasing except wages. Increase wages, pensions and allowances! and index them to prices. ”

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