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Bank Lending Sustains Momentum in February


Outstanding loans of commercial banks, thrift banks, and rural banks (excluding reverse repurchase or RRPs) continued to expand in February, posting a growth of 9.4 percent year-on-year. This was higher than the 9.3 percent growth in January and the 5.4 percent growth registered in the same month a year ago. On a month-on-month basis, seasonally-adjusted lending rose by 0.6 percent compared to the 1.5 percent growth in the previous month.

Inclusive of banks’ RRP placements with the BSP, bank lending increased by 4.7 percent year-on-year in February, lower than the 5.4 percent expansion in the previous month. This was also lower than the 8.4 percent growth recorded in the same month of the previous year.  On a month-on-month basis, seasonally-adjusted lending declined at a slower pace of 1.2 percent compared to 3.3 percent in the previous month.

Lending to the utilities (electricity, gas and water) sector registered the highest year-on-year growth in February at 81.4 percent from 69.8 percent in the previous month.  The transportation, storage, and communication sector also contributed to the expansion in bank lending, registering a growth of 20.5 percent.  Likewise, lending to financial institutions, real estate and business services (net of RRPs); community, social, and personal services; wholesale and retail trade; and construction rose by 12.1 percent, 9.2 percent, 8.7 percent, and 1.5 percent respectively.  Meanwhile, bank lending to mining and quarrying; agriculture, fisheries, and forestry (AFF); and manufacturing declined during the period.

The BSP remains steadfast in its efforts to provide the appropriate macroeconomic conditions for continued credit expansion to fuel the growth requirements of the economy, while fulfilling its primary mandate of maintaining price stability.

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