Inflation: Michel-Édouard Leclerc fears a “tsunami”

He presents himself once again as a whistleblower and consumer protector. Michel-Edouard Leclerc, boss of the distribution group of the same name, warned Monday evening, on BFMTV, against a coming “tsunami” of inflation.

Since December 1, negotiations between manufacturers and distributors have begun, even if in this period of high inflation they have been recurrent in recent months. While they should lead to new increases in food prices, Michel-Edouard Leclerc is worried. “Concretely, no brand has asked me to lower the price for 2023.”

“There’s nothing below 10%,” he says. “If we accept all these increases, it would be a tsunami,” he warns, using an expression he already used in early November on the same subject.

He explains that many of the requests are double-digit increases. They would range from “10% to 39%”. Among the biggest increases would be pet food.

“Obviously, we will not accept them, we will work with discernment, we will negotiate in particular with very large international companies”, promises Michel-Edouard Leclerc. He guarantees that he will only accept “the increases that are acceptable to consumers”. He will also ask large groups to “spread price increases over the year”.

Prices up on average by 6.2% over one year, but by 12.2% in food

According to the latest figures from INSEE (National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies), average inflation in France is 6.2% over one year. But energy and food, two items that weigh heavily in the household budget, are among those whose increases are the most pronounced. In November, food prices posted +12.2% over one year, those of energy +18.5%.

On Tuesday, the Minister of the Economy, Bruno Le Maire, ended up conceding that inflation is not over, the peak having “not yet passed”. “It will last a few more months, it will continue to increase,” he said on France Inter. However, he is counting on a “reflux” in the “current of 2023”, based in particular on the decline in certain raw materials.

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