• August bank lending growth slows to 20.2%

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    Bank lending in the Philippines grew at a slower pace in August but still reflected the buoyant domestic economy, data from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) showed on Tuesday.

    Outstanding loans granted by commercial banks, net of reverse repurchase (RRP) placements with the central bank, posted 20.2 percent growth in August, a slower rate from the revised 21.1 percent in July.

    Including the RRPs, bank lending declined to 17.9 percent from the revised 19.7 percent rise in July. On a seasonally adjusted basis, commercial bank lending increased by 1.3 percent for loans net of RRPs month-on-month and by 0.2 percent for loans inclusive of RRPs.

    Loans granted for production activities, which comprise more than four-fifths of banks’ aggregate loan portfolio, expanded by 19.1 percent in August from the revised 20 percent in July.

    The central bank said the expansion in production loans was driven by increased lending for wholesale and retail trade; real estate, renting, and business services; electricity, gas and water; financial intermediation; and manufacturing.

    “Bank lending to other sectors also rose during the month except for public administration and defense, which declined by 3.1 percent,” the BSP said.

    Meanwhile, the BSP said loans for household consumption grew by 16.6 percent in August from the revised 16.2 percent in the previous month.

    The current figure was attributed by the central bank to the continued expansion in auto loans and other types of loans, such as salary and personal loans, which offset the slight slowdown in the growth of credit card loans.

    “Going forward, the BSP will remain watchful that domestic credit and liquidity conditions will remain supportive of economic activity growth while remaining consistent with its price stability objective,” the BSP stated.

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