The Philippines: Jan 22 bank lending quickest in 19 months

  • CREDIT GROWTH in January accelerated to its fastest rate in 19 months, as banks began lending more to consumers amid the looser mobility restrictions in the country.
  • Data from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) released on 1 Mar 22 showed outstanding loans by big banks rose by 8.5% y/y in Jan 22.
  • This was much faster than the 4.8% y/y increase in Dec 21 and marked the sixth consecutive month of expansion in outstanding loans. It was also the quickest growth rate since the 9.6% seen in Jun 20.
  • “Bank lending improved further as easing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) restrictions and the continuous vaccine rollout supported market sentiment and demand,” BSP Governor Benjamin E. Diokno said in a statement. Inclusive of reverse repurchase agreements, credit growth stood at 8.7%.
  • In January, production loans rose by 9.6% y/y, quicker than the 6% growth in Dec 21. This was mainly driven by an increase in loans for real estate activities (16.8%), financial and insurance activities (17.1%), information and communication (31.4%), and manufacturing (11.5%).
  • On the other hand, borrowings for business activities related to agriculture, forestry, and fishing (-5.6%); mining and quarrying (-15.6%); accommodation and food services (-4.8%); administrative and support services (-8.6%); and education (-9.5%) continued to decline.
  • Meanwhile, consumer borrowings inched up by 0.1% y/y in Jan 22. This was the first expansion in 13 months or since the 4.4% growth in Dec 20.

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