Household financial savings have accelerated since the Covid-19 crisis, according to a calculation by the Banque de France, generating a "surplus"
157 billion euros in three years compared to the trend observed before the 2020. Mainly placed in bank deposits in 2020 and 2021, "
part of this savings has been reallocated since the second half of 2022 to financial investments with higher returns, in particular to regulated savings products than the increase in their interest rates now makes it attractive
,” notes the central bank in a quarterly note issued at the end of December, published on Wednesday.
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The outstanding amount of Livrets A and Livrets de développement durable et solidaire (LDDS), whose rate is now at 3%, has for example gained 40 billion euros over the last year alone, according to the Caisse des dépôts (CDC) .
Life insurance, for its part, benefited in a contrasting way from this windfall in 2022: investments in unit-linked (UA), potentially more profitable, but also more risky, show net inflows (difference between deposits and withdrawals) of 38.9 billion euros when the euro funds, with guaranteed capital, suffered a net outflow of 10.7 billion euros.
Increase in central bank interest rates
In both cases, the market value of the assets suffered badly last year.
That of euro funds was devalued by nearly 250 billion euros, from 1.686 billion euros at the end of 2021 to 1.436 billion euros at the end of 2022. This situation is linked to the increase in the key rates of the central banks, which drags new bond yields behind it.
Those acquired before the rise in rates, with lower yields than the new ones and which fill the portfolios of life insurers, are logically discounted.
The value of CUs fell from €485 billion at the end of 2021 to €449 billion at the end of 2022, in the wake of poor market performance.
All investments combined, the total financial savings of households amounted to just over 6,000 billion euros at the end of last year.
On the business side, the note from the Banque de France highlights an 8.4% increase in outstanding net debt after two years of near-stability, "due in particular to the sustained increase in
loans to large companies
", a trend that continues in January 2023, according to the first available data.
The outstanding net debt of non-financial corporations reached 1,112.3 billion euros at the end of last December.