Never has a start to the year turned out to be so flourishing for the Livret A account. After a historic collection in January and February, the preferred regulated savings account of the French was credited with 4.17 billion euros. in March, according to data communicated by the Caisse des dépôts on Friday. Such a level of collection had never been observed for the third month of the year, traditionally less of a source of funds than the first two. Cumulative collection since January thus amounts to nearly 20 billion euros, a record for the first quarter of a calendar year that had not been beaten since 2009.
These historical levels of inflow bring the total outstanding amount of bank account A, located at 395.1 billion euros at the end of March, closer to the symbolic threshold of 400 billion euros. The success of the livret A can be explained in particular by the recent rise in its rate of remuneration, which is set by the government on the recommendation of the Banque de France. From 0.5% in 2021, it jumped to 3% on February 1. According to a study published this week by the Cercle de l'Épargne, the livret A is considered the best savings product by two-thirds of French people, ahead of rental property and insurance.
The rate effect also explains the success of the sustainable and solidarity development booklet (LLDS), also remunerated at 3% since February 1, 2023. This other regulated savings booklet, less known, also records a historically high inflow in March, with 1.82 billion euros. This is barely less than in January (1.95 billion euros) and February (1.90 billion euros). Above all, it is significantly higher than the average collection of last year, which was between 0.16 and 0.78 billion euros – with the exception of the month of December. "The booklet A being capped at 22,950 euros, many French people who have the ceiling find themselves forced to supplement their LDDS", notes Philippe Crevel, president of the Circle of Savings. The total outstanding amount of the LDDS now stands at 140 billion euros.
The two main regulated savings accounts therefore total a total of 535.1 billion euros. Its funds are managed in part by the banks where the passbooks are opened, and up to 60% by the Caisse des dépôts et consignations, a public financial institution. The latter finances major projects on behalf of the State as well as the construction of social housing throughout France.
INSEE anticipates a high savings rate for 2023. "The French are showing caution and saving as much as they can in a context of anxiety linked to inflation", deciphers Philippe Crevel. The recent study by Cercle de l'épargne proves once again that the plebiscite is total for the Livret A account. 5.9% in March according to INSEE. The real yield of the livret A and the LDDS is therefore negative by nearly three points.