• Bank lending grows at slower pace in May

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    BANK lending in May expanded at a slightly slower pace from the previous month as lending for production activities eased, the central bank said on Tuesday.

    Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) data showed that outstanding loans granted by commercial banks—excluding reverse repurchase placements (RRPs) with the central bank, or money lent to the BSP—increased by 14.5 percent against the 15.4 percent growth recorded in April.

    Including RRPs, bank lending grew at a slower rate of 14.4 percent in May compared with the revised 14.9-percent increase recorded a month earlier.

    “On a month-on-month seasonally adjusted basis, commercial bank lending increased by 0.8 percent for loans net of RRPs and by 0.7 percent for loans inclusive of RRPs,” the BSP said in a statement.

    Lending for production activities—which comprised more than 80 percent of the banks’ aggregate loan portfolio—grew by 14.1 percent in May after expanding by 15.1 percent in April, the BSP said.

    Growth in production loans was driven primarily by real estate, renting, and business services; manufacturing; wholesale and retail trade, electricity, gas and water; and financial intermediation.

    On the other hand, loans for household consumption grew by 20.5 percent from 20.1 percent in April on the continued growth in credit card loans, auto loans, and other types of loans like salary and personal loans.

    “Going forward, the BSP will continue to ensure that domestic credit and liquidity conditions will keep pace with overall economic growth while remaining consistent with its price and financial stability objectives,” the central bank said.

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