• Bank lending growth slows in April – BSP

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    BANK lending in April grew at a slightly slower pace from the previous month as lending for production activities decelerated, the central bank said on Friday.

    Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) data showed that outstanding loans granted by commercial banks, excluding reverse repurchase placements (RRPs) with the central bank, increased by 15.4 percent against the revised 16.1 percent growth recorded in March.

    Including RRPs, or money lent to the BSP, bank lending grew at a slower rate of 14.8 percent in April compared with the revised 15.7-percent increase recorded a month earlier.

    “On a month-on-month seasonally adjusted basis, commercial bank lending increased by 0.8 percent for loans both net and gross 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 15.1 percent in April after rising by a revised 15.9 percent in March, the BSP said.

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

    Bank lending to other sectors also rose during the month.

    On the other hand, loans for household consumption grew by 20.1 percent from the revised 19.8 percent in March amid continued growth in credit card loans, auto loans, and other types of loans like salary and personal loans.

    The central bank said the sustained expansion in bank lending, particularly to productive sectors, is expected to support sustainable levels of economic growth.

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

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