How French households and businesses are tackling the Ukrainian crisis

From one crisis to another, how are businesses and households financially dealing with the economic consequences of the war in Ukraine after a two-year pandemic? The former benefits from higher levels of cash on average than in early 2020, while the latter still maintains additional savings, but this fairly favorable inventory hides large inequality. The outlook for certain economic sectors and the poorest households is more complex.

This finding was revealed in a study published on Tuesday by the Economic Analysis Council (CAE), a think tank attached to Matignon. It is based on a unique methodology that has already been used several times since the Covid-19 epidemic began. From November 2019 to February 2022, the organization analyzed a sample bank account of 115,000 SMEs, VSEs, and individual companies. A wide range of households inhabited by the Crédit Mutuel Alliance Fédérale. Enough to create a detailed inventory of each other’s financial situation.

Strong non-uniformity

As for companies, “The cash position improved significantly in the second quarter of 2020 (the period during which PGE, which is the majority of state-guaranteed loans), and then stabilized. It was a high level. ” The document reads. The situation is not much different for the average net balance (the difference between the total bank account balance and the bank debt balance), which is a good indicator of a company’s solvency.

Behind this generally encouraging situation remains the fact that there is “strong heterogeneity both between and within each sector.” This is especially impressive when you look at the net balance criteria. The report states, “The construction and telecommunications sector is in a good or very good situation, with a significant increase in corporate market share in very difficult situations compared to pre-crisis situations.”

Conversely, the accommodation and catering departments have recorded improvements in their indicators. This seems to support the benefits of over-compensation by the state during the health crisis.

Another interesting indicator when the government decided to reopen the PGE locks to deal with the Ukrainian crisis, the report points out that 36% of businesses joined the PGE during the health crisis. doing. Of this total, 41% started repayment.

The wealthiest French income

Looking in the direction of households, like the Bank of France, CAE states that wool inventories have increased since the outbreak of Covid-19. The percentage of households looking at their account in the red has dropped from 14% to 12% in two years, as stated in “% of household savings stock”.

However, like companies, not everyone is on the same ship. This additional savings is beginning to decline in almost the entire population. To the point that 20% of the wealthiest French would have consumed almost all of the additional savings accumulated during the pandemic. There are worrisome observations as energy prices are on the rise and have a direct impact.

The situation is different for the wealthiest 10% of French who have seen stabilization rather than diminishing accumulated savings. In total, they will hold “a cumulative savings surplus of about 10% of total savings inventories, partly due to capital gains on financial assets,” the report said.