Less purchasing power and savings whose value is slowly melting over the days. It is the bitter filter in which inflation, which reached 4.8% year-on-year at the end of April, condemns the French – and especially the more moderate classes. Of course, the percentage of Livret A (as well as Livret de développement durable et solidaire, LDDS) increased from 0.5% to 1% in 1eee February, ie a little more (0.2 points) than the level proposed by the legal formula for adjustment.
But this slight “boost” given to French savings – almost 55 million people have a Livret A, the most popular product in France – did not far offset the erosion of real performance once inflation was removed.
Because it is mechanical: with a price index exceeding 4%, the value of wool socks that are paid only 1% melts. Thus, the total number of pending issues in Livret A and LDDS, amounting to 483.6 billion euros at the end of March, now suffers from a negative performance of about three units. “Households lose a lot of purchasing power from their savings”regrets Eric Dor, director of economics at the Iéseg School of Management.
Be very careful
A little consolation: the situation is not specific to France. Inflation, which affects the entire euro area – even exceeds 10% in the Baltic countries! – eats the economies of our neighbors. In Germany, the real savings rate of the savings account fell to -7%. To the extent that France benefits from lower inflation in monetary union, thanks to state aid, which mitigates rising energy prices, “In our country the loss is the smallest”, says Mr. Dor. Life insurance is not much better when invested in euros, which accounts for 60% of its total balance (1.857 billion euros, at the end of March).
“During major shocks, households no longer prioritize their consumption. »Alain Tourdjman, Director of Financial and Prospective Studies at the BPCE Group
However, while inflation impoverishes savers, it does not discourage them from saving money. On the contrary, it even pushes them, to some extent, to be very careful. The French savings rate, which rose above 20% (of their gross disposable income) during the Covid-19 crisis, has not fallen nearly since, despite the end of restrictions on consumption. After signing the best year since 2010 in 2021, life insurance is making a splash, with $ 8.4 billion in profits in the first quarter of 2022, when inflation was already threatening. The same goes for Livret A: an additional 12.2 billion have been placed there since January.
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