DP15474 Consumption Dynamics in the COVID Crisis: Real Time Insights from French Transaction & Bank Data
We use anonymised transaction and bank data from France to document the
evolution of consumption and savings dynamics since the onset of the pandemic.
We find that consumption has dropped very severely during the nation-wide lockdown
but experienced a strong and steady rebound during the Summer, before
faltering in late September. This drop in consumption was met with a significant
increase in aggregate households’ net financial wealth. This excess savings
is extremely heterogenous across the income distribution: 50% of excess wealth
accrued to the top decile. Households in the bottom decile of the income distribution
experienced a severe decrease in consumption, a decrease in savings and
an increase in debt. We estimate marginal propensities to consume and show that
their magnitude is large, especially at the bottom of the income and liquidity distributions.