Since the beginning of the year, the French have widely supported this type of credit to increase their purchasing power, reports “Le Parisien”.
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To cope with the economic consequences linked to the health crisis and the war in Ukraine, the French have massively rushed in recent months on consumer credit. As indicated by figures from the Association of Financial Companies (ASF), relayed by Le Parisien, the production of consumer loans jumped 9.2% in the first quarter of 2022 compared to the same period in 2021. In total, 11.8 billion euros in new loans were granted between January and March of this year, compared to 10.8 billion in 2021.
“We are back to pre-health crisis levels, and even better,” rejoiced Françoise Palle-Guillabert, ASF general delegate, to the daily. As proof, recourses are up by more than 10% compared to the first three months of 2019. Among these consumer loans, personal loans and revolving loans are the ones that have increased the most, with increases of 16.1% and 13.9% respectively over the past year.
“Most of the time it's cash flow needs. These are modest families, who have little or no savings. They need a fresh influx of money to successfully pay their energy bills and the constrained expenses that accumulate, “explains to our colleagues Pascale Hébel, expert in consumer trends. A trend confirmed by figures from the ASF since credits in the “home improvement” category, which notably concerns small renovation works or purchases of equipment such as washing machines, vacuum cleaners or televisions, have increased by 5.4% in 2022. Since the beginning of the year, the French have taken out 1.38 billion euros in credit for this type of expenditure.
Results decline in vehicle purchases
Nevertheless, certain categories of expenditure saw the use of consumer credit fall during the first quarter of 2022. This is particularly the case in the transport sector with a significant drop in purchase of new (-18.3%) and used (-4.3%) vehicles. With regard to this type of purchase, the French now mainly favor rentals with an option to purchase (LOA), which reached an amount of 1.93 billion euros (+ 7.1%) for new vehicles .