Outstanding loans of commercial banks, net of banks’ reverse repurchase (RRP) placements with the BSP, continue to expand in April but at a slower pace of 12.0 percent relative to the growth of 14.2 percent in March. Likewise, growth of bank lending inclusive of RRPs in the same month decelerated to 13.7 percent from 14.7 percent in the previous month. On a month-on-month seasonally-adjusted basis, commercial bank lending in April decreased by 0.1 percent for loans net of RRPs but loans inclusive of RRPs rose by 0.1 percent.
Loans for production activities—which comprised more than four-fifths of banks’ aggregate loan portfolio—grew at a slower pace of 12.0 percent in April from 14.2 percent in March. Meanwhile, the growth in consumer loans in the same month rose to 11.5 percent from 10.8 percent a month earlier due mainly to the expansion in credit card receivables and auto loans.
The expansion in production loans was driven primarily by increased lending to the following sectors: real estate, renting, and business services (22.7 percent); wholesale and retail trade (10.0 percent); financial intermediation (15.9 percent); electricity, gas and water (12.9 percent); and transportation, storage and communication (13.0 percent). Meanwhile, lending to agriculture, hunting, and forestry continued to decline in April but at a slower pace of -5.6 percent.
The continued growth in bank lending, particularly to the productive sectors, is expected to support sustainable levels of economic growth. Going forward, the BSP will continue to ensure that liquidity and credit conditions keep at pace with overall economic activity while remaining consistent with its price stability objective.