Household morale continues to decline

In February, household morale continued to decline according to the monthly INSEE report. In view of the health situation, it is difficult to be otherwise. The French therefore prefer to save rather than consume.

Almost a year after the outbreak of the health crisis, the French have learned to live with confinements, curfews, travel restriction measures, closures of bars and restaurants, and also that of cultural places. But this comes at a price: consumer sentiment continues to decline. The monthly INSEE study thus recorded a drop of one point between January (92) and February (91): far from the long-term average which is 100. It’s hard to have high morale when life is idling. Household morale collapsed in January (95 in December), the drop in one point could be seen as a relative relief …

One year of restrictions

Prevented from consuming, households rely on savings. The balance of opinion of households considering it appropriate to put money aside remains at its highest level ever, according to INSEE. In the same area, the balances of opinion regarding current and future savings capacity are also at their highest level. Indicators closely monitored by the government, which would like the French to draw on their woolen stockings to consume massively and therefore, revive the economy. But at the moment, that doesn’t seem to be the case.

Savings at its highest

If savings capacities are at their highest, it is also because purchasing power has ultimately suffered little from the health crisis. The public authorities have done everything to support purchasing power, through measures such as partial unemployment. But since there is nothing to buy … A positive sign for the government, however: the proportion of households considering it appropriate to make major purchases is stable, as is the position on their future financial situation. But in both cases, these indicators remain below their long-term average.