Outstanding loans of commercial banks, net of banks’ reverse repurchase (RRP) placements with the BSP, continued to grow at a solid pace in February, rising 18.0 percent year on year even as this was slightly slower than the 19.1 percent expansion in the previous month. The growth of bank lending inclusive of RRPs also slowed down to 16.1 percent from 16.6 percent in the previous month. Commercial banks’ loans have been growing steadily at double-digit rates since January 2011. On a month-on-month seasonally-adjusted basis, commercial banks’ lending in February rose by 0.9 percent for loans net of RRPs as well as for loans inclusive of RRPs.
Loans for production activities—which comprised more than four-fifths of banks’ total loan portfolio—grew by 18.4 percent in February from 19.7 percent a month earlier. Meanwhile, the growth of consumer loans accelerated slightly to 20.3 percent in February from 19.9 percent in January, reflecting mainly the growth in credit card receivables.
The expansion in production loans was driven primarily by higher lending to wholesale and retail trade (by 49.4 percent); manufacturing (30.2 percent); real estate, renting and business services (26.4 percent); electricity, gas, and water (30.2 percent); financial intermediation (33.7 percent); and transportation, storage, and communication (12.5 percent). Meanwhile, loans to the agriculture, hunting, and forestry sector declined (by 45.3 percent).
Steady credit growth and adequate liquidity are seen to support the domestic economy in the midst of uncertain global economic prospects. Going forward, the BSP will continue to monitor economic developments to ensure that the monetary policy stance remains consistent with the price stability objective as well as supportive of domestic economic growth.