Just a quick post to highlight some interesting research conducted by Institut pour un Developpement Durable that looks at pouvoir d’achat (spending power). With rising food prices and oil prices there are complaints all over Europe that spending power is decreasing. Yet the research for Belgium, by Philippe Defeyt, shows that it takes an average worker 34 minutes to earn enough money to buy 1kg of butter in April 2008, versus 1 hour and 2 minutes in 1983 and similar trends are shown for most products – even 40 litres of petrol takes an average worker less time to earn than it did in 1983. The newspaper article from Le Soir is here, and the tables and research can be found here and here. Well worth a look if you can understand French.