A solid harvest of savings in 2019. The Livret A and the Livret de développement durable et solidaire (LDDS) now oversee more than 400 billion euros. Bad news for the government, which would like to see the French direct their savings more to other investments.
Despite a historically low rate and far below inflation, the collection experienced an iron health last year: the Livret A and its little brother the LDDS in 2019 garnered a little more than 16.5 billion euros, much more than the 12.7 billion collected in 2018, said Tuesday the Caisse des Dépôts.
Almost 411 billion euros invested
This performance is ranked 4th among the best collections since 2009, when the distribution of these products was opened to all banking establishments.
Livret A, recorded a net inflow of just over 12.6 billion euros in 2019 as a whole, after 10 billion in 2018. For its part, the LDDS continued to attract savings in December , with net inflows of 770 billion euros. Over the whole year, it reached almost four billion euros.
In total, a little less than 411 billion euros were placed at the end of December on these two booklets together, including about 300 billion for the only booklet A. They thus crossed for the first time the threshold of 400 billion euros.
Livret A, flagship product of savings
The flagship savings product, the 202-year-old savings account A is now owned by 55 million French people and is used in particular to finance social housing.
The saver can deposit or withdraw his money at any time from the passbook A, while seeing his deposits a little remunerated and his profits not taxed. The Sustainable and Solidarity Development Booklet (LDDS) works in a similar way.
"We see that a large part of the purchasing power gains in 2019, and in particular the measures known as 'yellow vests', have been transformed into savings", explains to AFP Philippe Crevel, the director of the Circle of savings, institute for reflection on savings and its regulation.
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"We also note that despite the context of low interest rates, households have not changed their behavior" in recent months, adds this expert.
A lower rate of pay in 2020
It remains to be seen whether 2020 will be as buoyant: the rate of remuneration for the two booklets will fall in February to 0.5%, as expected by the floor of its new calculation formula, announced last Wednesday the Minister of Economy Bruno Le Maire .
Determined to direct French savings more towards the long term, the minister urged households to diversify their savings by placing it in products such as Eurocroissance life insurance, the stock savings plan (PEA) or the retirement savings plan. (PER). So many products that have just been freshly created or renovated under the Pacte law.
The government would also welcome the fact that part of the savings is used by households to consume more, thereby boosting the economy.
"The bet to boost consumption is not won in advance given the economic and social context full of uncertainties [...]," said however in a recent note the Savings Circle.