France's financial accounts in 2007 - Against the backdrop of tension on the financial markets, continuing growth in credit to non-financial agents
The financial transactions – investment and financing – completed by households and non-financial companies in the whole of 2007 were only partially affected by the market tensions in evidence from the summer onwards. Households continued to take on debt, although at a slightly lower rate than in previous years: indeed, their debt reached a historic high in relation to their gross disposable income. Non-financial companies reduced their net issuance of debt securities in response to the more restrictive market conditions, but they made increased use of bank loans. In terms of investment, households showed a greater propensity to invest in monetary assets. The amount households spent on life insurance is reducing but still accounts for the greatest proportion of their savings and continues to benefit from the transfer of funds which were previously invested in housing savings plans. On the other hand, non-monetary mutual funds experienced a large net asset outflow in the second half of the year in the context of increased uncertainty and a major correction of stock prices. The same is true for monetary mutual fund subscriptions by companies.