BPCE’s Economic Research and Forecasting teams initiated a regular quarterly survey of the French population’s savings behavior on April 11
The survey of 2,000 people provides an additional tool for analyzing savings behavior in greater detail, notably by identifying different profiles, ranging from the most cautious savers to expert investors. Each quarterly survey will incorporate questions linked to economic, social or political news, so as to gather “live” reactions from savers. The first edition of the survey focuses on the impact of French governmental measures and particularly the introduction of income-tax deduction at source and measures related to the “yellow vests” movement.
Climate conducive to saving
Income-tax deduction at source is viewed positively by 68% of those concerned and has not led to any significant changes in the French population’s savings behavior (70%). A majority of those concerned even said that it could make it easier for them to manage their budgets.
Concerning measures related to the "yellow vests" movement, the survey respondents do not have much belief in their ability to make an impact. Only 27% feel concerned by the government’s decisions, and the bulk do not expect the measures to significantly influence their purchasing power.
In this context, the survey also highlights "a deep-seated feeling of general crisis". Moreover, 80% believe there could be a serious social or political crisis in the coming months.
This crisis of confidence is reflected in widespread pessimism among respondents, concerning not only the French economy, but also their own futures (pensions, etc.) and those of their children. "These two visions bolster the idea of a climate conducive to savings and financial investments … but without risk", analyzes Alain Tourdjman, Head of Economic Research at BPCE.
Four main savings trajectories
Regarding the methods and choices of saving, the trends of the last six months have highlighted four main practices, linked not only to the ability to save, but also to the individual’s wealth and career situations, and position in the life cycle. Two categories of savers look to have particularly interesting profiles: fairly young, mobile individuals, who tend simultaneously to purchase, sell and make trade-offs between assets, and older “dissavers”, who are forced to consume their capital, due to a reduction in their income (retirement) or to unforeseen expenses, particularly those related to helping their adult children. The second edition of the survey, scheduled for presentation at the end of spring, will indicate whether these initial trends have continued.
See the report “French savings at a time of dwindling confidence and economic slowdown” document pdf - 2.3 MB