In New Caledonia, prices are 31% higher than in mainland France

New Caledonia comes first among the most expensive overseas territories

In New Caledonia, prices are 31% higher than in mainland France

New Caledonia comes first among the most expensive overseas territories. According to a study by the Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies – New Caledonia (Isee), published Friday September 29, the general level of consumer prices in 2022 is 31% higher in the archipelago than in mainland France. . French Polynesia is placed just behind with prices 30.8% higher than in France for this same period, specifies the institute.

This gap far exceeds those observed in the overseas departments (16% in Guadeloupe, 14% in Martinique and Guyana, 10% in Mayotte and 9% in Réunion).

The study takes into account the lifestyles specific to each of the territories compared. Thus, a metropolitan household that maintained its consumption habits in New Caledonia would increase its spending not by 31%, but by 43%.

Particularly notable differences in food prices

The price differences can be explained above all by those of food products, which are 78% more expensive in New Caledonia. There is also a price gap of 41% in the health sector, 30% in the housing sector, and 77% for hotel and catering services. Only transport (− 6%) and the category “Other goods and services” (− 10%) show a negative price gap.

If the overall price gap is still more marked between mainland France and New Caledonia, compared to other overseas territories, it nevertheless tends to reduce for New Caledonia, going from 34% in 2010 to 33% in 2015, then 31% in 2022, while it increases for the other overseas departments.

A sensitive subject for the government

In June 2023, the National Assembly launched a commission of inquiry devoted to the cost of living in the overseas territories. Big bosses and ministers had defended their action, while passing the responsibilities on to each other. The Minister Delegate for Overseas Territories, Jean-François Carenco, had repeatedly repeated before her, Wednesday June 7, 2023, that inflation had been lower overseas than in France in 2022 thanks to the efforts of the government , but he was hardly convincing.

The opposition judged that the temporary measures to support purchasing power (fuel, housing, transport) were not sufficient and that structural changes were long overdue.

“It is time to engage in structural reflection,” agreed the Minister of the Economy, Bruno Le Maire. Heard on Thursday June 8, he recalled that overseas countries benefited from mechanisms to support purchasing power worth 7 billion euros per year: reduced VAT, regulated electricity prices, fuel tax rebates.