Google looked at the most frequent searches related to the country’s economic situation. The results reflect the daily concerns of the French.
While consumer prices increased year on year by 5.8% in Augustthe French unsurprisingly turn to Google to seek solutions.
The search engine has thus observed the most frequent search trends related to inflation in France and these illustrate the priority concerns: knowing the value of products, reducing costs, understanding inflation. The peaks in searches have started again with the costs generated by the start of the school year.
Know the best prices
When it comes to product value, the big question is “how much?”. How much does this or that product cost, in particular basic necessities, such as gasoline that comes up frequently?
In the graph above which displays the results of searches including the words “heating oil prices”, the blue line represents searches between September 2021 and September 2022. The red line between September 2020 and 2021. The first peak is reached in March 2022 then at the beginning of September.
Applications to compare gas station prices are multiplying and so are Google searches, with the terms “fuel prices around me”.
Solutions to gain purchasing power
According to the latest edition of the Cofidis/CSA Research Purchasing Power Barometer, households estimate that 510 euros is the average amount missing each month to live decently. This sum increased by 43 euros over one year and reached a level not reached since 2014. And for good reason, the Google Trends results show that the French are looking for concrete solutions to gain purchasing power through standard searches: “how to terminate my subscription” or “how to cancel”.
Consumers are therefore on the lookout for good deals and discounts in their daily purchases. “Searching for ways to save money is a common theme across all categories of goods and products, with interest in searching for ‘cheaper’ increasing by 95% at the start of September 2022 (compared to the year previous)”, notes the Think with Google study.
Although the government is trying to explain the aid it is putting in place for households, the French are looking for the devices to which they are entitled. As shown by the “food voucher” and “transport bonus” peaks during the month of July.
The subject of inflation has become daily for several months and the French want to understand the mechanisms. Searches for “inflation forecast” and “inflation” skyrocketed in the last week of August.
The same analysis was conducted by Google in August but on a global level and the results are a little different. The search for “what is inflation” remains high, but more pointed questions are popping up like “why is butter so expensive?” in the UK or “why is there a shortage of mustard” in France.
Finally, consumers seek to combine inflation and respect for the planet. For example, in the UK, searches for second-hand goods on the internet have exploded. Other more practical interests such as “how to save energy”, “off-peak electricity hours” or “electric car purchase assistance” have been identified in several European countries.