The Philippines: Loan growth at 21-month high in Mar 22 as economy reopens

  • LENDING GROWTH continued to pick up in Mar 22, even as the expansion of liquidity slowed, as the economy reopened further amid declining coronavirus cases.
  • Data from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) released on 4 May 22 showed outstanding loans by big banks rose 8.9% y/y in Mar 22, up further from +8.8% in Feb 22 and the quickest expansion since the 9.6% posted in Jun 20.
  • Inclusive of reverse repurchase agreements, bank lending rose by 8.7%. M/m, credit growth stood at 0.2%.
  • “Lending activity has gained further traction as the country’s improved coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caseload continues to support market confidence,” BSP Governor Benjamin E. Diokno said in a statement.
  • Credit for production activities increased 9.5% in Mar 22, slower than the 9.7% growth seen in Feb 22. The increase was driven by borrowings for real estate activities (19.7%); information and communication (28.4%); manufacturing (10%); wholesale and retail trade, repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles (8.7%); and financial and insurance activities (6.2%).
  • Household borrowings likewise expanded by 3.6% in Mar 22, faster than the 0.9% in Feb 22. This was driven by credit card loans (12.1%), as vehicle loans (-4.2%) and salary-based borrowings (-5.5%) continued to decline.

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