• What good is it to place money on his booklet A at 1% interest when inflation is at 4.8%?

  • Despite these calculations not famous, the savings of the French do not decline and remain at an extremely high level.

  • A stupid choice or a real economic interest for households?

This will not have escaped any consumer, in this year 2022, prices are rising.

France is experiencing record inflation for decades, at an annual rate of 4.8% at the end of April.

A rise in prices with multiple consequences: lower purchasing power, lower household consumption and unfavorable savings conditions.

"Periods of inflation are always negative for savings", informs François Geerolf, professor of economics and specialist in investment issues.

The logic is simple to understand: take for example the booklet A, by far the most widespread with 55 million people.

Currently, the famous booklet offers 1% annual gain.

No need to have done super math to understand that putting money on it lowers your purchasing power in the face of inflation by 4.8 points.

“Most interest rates are currently negative”, confirms the professor, because you know it as well as we do, there are few bank books at 5% interest – alas.

Save against all odds

Top signal for everyone to empty their bank accounts and spend without counting, screwed up for screwed up?

“Even if it may seem counterintuitive, even counterproductive, the French save a lot in times of inflation,” contradicts Philippe Crevel, director of the Cercle de l'épargne.

In the midst of economic uncertainty about the future, as is currently the case, "we abandon apothecary and profitability calculations and put money aside - just in case", continues the expert. .

The French still save more than 20% of their gross disposable income according to INSEE, a peak reached during the coronavirus crisis but which has not fallen since, despite government invitations to consumption and inflation.

In the first quarter of 2022, an additional 12.2 billion were placed in the Livret A account,

This phenomenon may nevertheless have a certain logic, beyond fear.

Olivier Rull, co-founder of Caravel, an ethical and solidarity savings plan platform, says: “In times of inflation, not investing means losing purchasing power.

It is therefore healthy for the French to invest their money, the question is rather to know where”.

Beware of bad investments

Because in such situations, good investments are rare.

And beware of false good ideas: “Concretely, corporate actions – and in particular the CAC40 – are in bad shape and falling, they do not necessarily represent wise investments”, supports François Geerolf.

A word of advice from Philippe Crevel: “If you really want to invest, you have to look for shares with dividends to maximize your chances of having a positive impact.

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In addition to shares, the other false good idea would be to bet on material and real values, such as gold, for example.

Beware “Many households adopted this strategy during the oil crisis of the 1980s, recalls Philippe Crevel.

But without result: they had to wait more than 20 years for gold to regain its level.

Not really the most relevant placement.

Real estate remains.

The logic is simple: the price of rents will increase like inflation and therefore follows the rise in prices.

A good investment to make?

Not so fast.

"It is possible, even probable, that the State decides to freeze the price of rents, or at least to slow down their increase", warns François Geerolf.

So distrust.

On the usefulness of savings

Not really reliable solutions that partly explain why the French continue to save, despite deficit savings in terms of purchasing power: negative savings, but sometimes chosen for lack of anything better.

“Even if it increases less quickly than inflation, savings allow at least to grow this income a little.

This may be necessary for future purchases,” concedes Philippe Crevel.

Another option: keep your money aside for a while, with the hope that prices will come down.

But there again, the bet is risky.

"If wages increase to compensate for inflation, they will not come down and prices will also remain high," warns François Geerolf.

In other words: at least part of the prices will not fall.

Not to mention that nothing says that inflation will stop in the short term: "The various financial markets are rather expecting a rise in prices for a few years," says the professor of economics.

Accordingly: save yes, but feel free to spend your money too.

Olivier Rull advises distributing income as follows: 50% compulsory expenses (rent, food, bill), 30% “accessory” expenses (restaurant, cinema, etc.) and 20% savings and investment.

Or four-fifths of our money that we slap directly.

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  • Economy

  • Saving

  • Inflation

  • Consumption

  • purchasing power

  • Money

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