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The Europeans Financial Behavior during the Crisis

André Babeau * Professeur des Universités. Contact :

The interpretation of the changes in the households savings rate is too often disconnected from resort to credit and from the different uses of their entire financial resources (savings and new credits). These uses are threefold: loans repayments, financial investments and direct financing of personal contributions in case of durable goods acquisitions.

Admittedly, the necessary reconciliations require still scarce informations such as the amounts of the “real” repayments. During the period 1995-2012, resort to credit has probably been one of the major determining factors of the Europeans savings behavior: credit ebbing from 2007 onwards has very often been associated with a surge in savings rate, but from the use of funds perspective with a financial investments decrease. Likewise international comparisons show that countries with a low savings rate (e.g. Portugal,

Norway, United Kingdom) generally make a greater use of credit and highlight rather important financial investments.

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