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BNR: Non-government credit increased in February, but four times slower than deposits

de Adrian N Ionescu 27.3.2017

The non-government credit has increased by 2.1% (1.9% in real terms) to 219.8 billion lei in February 2017, compared to 29 February 2016, according to the monetary indicators published Thursday by the National Bank of Romania (BNR).

The increase is higher than the one registered in January (1% compared to January 2015), but it is proportionally more than four times lower than the change registered by the deposits of the non-government resident customers, of 8.6% (12.4% real terms), to 272.18 billion lei.

This development was “driven by the strengthening of the favourable climate for RON lending and the slowdown of the decline in the currency segment. The resilience of the economy against the tensions from the public space is confirmed, an evolution influenced by the low cost of financing (the end of the cheap money times), the surplus of liquidity and the boost in the confidence of consumers and companies,” writes the Senior economist of Banca Transilvania, Andrei Radulescu, in a report issued Friday.

The increase in the non-government credit appeared in the context of a 13.9% increase of the lei component (13.7% in real terms) and the 10.6% decrease in the currency component expressed in lei (in euro, the foreign currency credit decreased by 11.5%).

Moreover, the structure of loans increasingly changed favouring the loans in lei, in recent years, their share exceeding 57% of the total. In 2009, the loans in foreign currency had a share of over 60%.

Loans in lei became attractive because the population avoided the foreign currency loans, due to the big problems for paying the old loans in foreign currency, as well as due to decreasing interest rates on the new loans, almost to the cost of loans in the foreign currency, following the decline of the BNR’s monetary policy rate, to a historical low of 1.75%.

RON-denominated deposits of households increased by 12.7% (12.4% in real terms) compared to February 2016 and RON-denominated corporate deposits were 9.6% higher (9.4% in terms real).

Forex-denominated deposits of the households and corporate customers (non-financial companies and non-monetary financial institutions) increased to the equivalent of 86.6 billion lei.

Foreign currency deposits of the residents expressed in lei increased by 3.2% (expressed in euros, foreign currency deposits increased by 2.1%) compared to the same month of the last year.

The households’ foreign currency deposits expressed in lei increased by 9.1% (expressed in euro, the households’ foreign currency deposits increased by 80%) and foreign currency deposits of the legal entities (non-financial companies and non-monetary financial institutions) expressed in lei declined by 8.2% (expressed in euro, the foreign currency deposits of the resident legal entities decreased by 9.2%).

The government credit increased in February by 7.4% (7.2% in real terms) compared to 29 February 2016.

The broad money (M3) registered at the end of February 2017 a balance of 312.27 billion lei and is by 10.1% (9.8% in real terms) compared to February 2016.

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