PH bank lending falls for 8th straight month, but BSP sees hope | Inquirer Business
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PH bank lending falls for 8th straight month, but BSP sees hope

By: - Reporter / @daxinq
/ 05:07 PM September 01, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—Philippine bank lending contracted for the eighth consecutive month in July as borrowers and lenders continued to shy away from the debt market, but the central bank held out hope that the trend would be reversed as rate of decline in lending was slowing.

In a statement, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said preliminary data showed that outstanding loans of universal and commercial banks, excluding banks’ short term deposits with the regulator, declined by 0.7 percent year-on-year in July after falling by 2 percent in June.

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On a month-on-month seasonally-adjusted basis, outstanding universal and commercial bank loans, net of short term bank deposits, rose by 0.5 percent.

Outstanding loans to residents declined marginally by 0.1 percent following a 1.4-percent decrease in June. Meanwhile, outstanding loans to nonresidents declined by 17.4 percent after falling by 19.7 percent in June, as a new wave of COVID-19 cases due to the more contagious Delta variant continued to dampen economic prospects and temper market sentiment.

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Consumer loans to residents went down by 8.2 percent in July from an 8.7-percent decline in June due mainly to the continued contraction in motor vehicle loans.

All this occurred amid the continued rise in liquidity levels in the financial system brought about by the central bank’s ultra-loose monetary policy, with prime interest rates at their lowest levels in the country’s history.

Preliminary data show that domestic liquidity expanded by 5.9 percent year-on-year to about P14.4 trillion in July 2021. This was slower than the 6.5-percent growth recorded in June. On a month-on-month seasonally-adjusted basis, money supply in the financial system rose by 0.1 percent.

Total outstanding loans for production activities expanded by 0.8 percent in July following a contraction of 0.6 percent in the previous month.

“This is the first time that outstanding production loans has increased since the reported growth rate of 0.5 percent in November 2020,” the BSP said.

The expansion was driven by growth in loans for real estate activities (5.9 percent); information and communication (14.0 percent); electricity, gas steam and airconditioning supply (2.1 percent); and transportation and storage (7.0 percent).

Outstanding loans to key sectors fell at a slower rate, particularly for wholesale and retail trade and repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles (-4.5 percent) and manufacturing (-2.6 percent).

“Looking ahead, the BSP will continue to prioritize monetary policy support in order to ensure the continued momentum of economic recovery,” the regulator said. “At the same time, the national government’s targeted fiscal initiatives and health interventions will be crucial in boosting domestic demand and strengthening the recovery.”

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TAGS: Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, bank loans, Business, consumers, economy, liquidity
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