Crisis cuts French children's pocket money

Fri Aug 21, 2009 1:05pm EDT
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By Joseph Tandy

PARIS (Reuters Life!) - French children are feeling the pinch of the financial crisis, with fewer cash-strapped parents handing out pocket money in 2009 than in previous years, according to a report on Friday.

Results of the survey released by French bank Credit Agricole said that only 40 percent of parents gave their children aged between 6 and 15 pocket money in 2009, compared with 45 percent last year.

Credit Agricole said the fall in handouts used to buy sweets, CDs and video games was caused by a decline in households' purchasing power.

"This is clearly the impact of the crisis. Families look at their budgets and see what they can cut out," Francis Meyer, who coordinated the survey, told Reuters.

"They've also had to cut back when it comes to holidays, leisure and cultural activities," Meyer said.

Families having to tighten their belts have not shied away from admitting the reasons for the cut-back to their children, taking advantage of the opportunity to discuss the economic situation with them.

Children of low-income families have been particularly hard hit, with the proportion of parents giving pocket money falling to 41 percent in 2009 from 51 percent in 2008.

In spite of their empty piggy banks, most French children empathize with parents forced to tighten their budgets, with parents saying nine out of 10n youngsters understand the change of habits.

The telephone survey was carried out by pollster CSA who spoke to 501 parents of children between the ages of 6 and 15.

(Editing by Steve Addison)