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“Households must spend accumulated savings to revive the economy”

What will have been the impact of these two months of confinement on French income?

Mathieu Plane: According to a study that we carried out, which relates to the eight weeks of confinement, the shock on the economy amounts to 120 billion euros. However, it has been absorbed 60% by public administrations and 35% by businesses. Households, for their part, have been relatively well-preserved, in particular thanks to partial unemployment measures and childcare arrangements. They certainly lost an average of 400 euros each, with great disparities between people who had precarious contracts and who find themselves unemployed and telework executives who kept their salary.

But as consumption was severely constrained (it fell 30%!), The French accumulated a lot of savings, a total of 55 billion euros over the two months of confinement. But again, with disparities: the upper and wealthy middle classes, who consume a lot of goods and services that were no longer accessible during confinement – one can think of trips or eating out, for example – are more concerned than the less wealthy, a large part of whose income goes to basic necessities.

Can this savings contribute to the recovery of the economy?

Yes, if households that have accumulated savings start spending again at the time of deconfinement, it could restart activity. But it will not be obvious. First, because consumption will remain constrained: we will not be able to travel, restaurants will not reopen right away, etc. And there is nothing to say that we will consume more manufactured goods instead of these unavailable services.

We can see it very well on the other side of the border, moreover, consumers in countries that have carried out the deconfinement before us did not rush to the shops … In addition, households may keep their

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