The non-government credit grew 1.5% to RON 198.086 million lei (49.7 million euros), from 195.131 million in November 30.

The loans granted by banks to companies and population increased by 1.5%, but declined by nearly 2 million euros when expressed in euro, from 51.6 billion euros in November, to 49.7 billion euros in December.

Non-government loans climbed year on year by 33.7%, from 38.3% in November, 44.8% in October, and 30.5% in September. On a six-month basis, the annual growth pace of lending fell 29.7 percents, from 63.4% in June 2008.

In real terms, the annual growth rate of lending was reduced to half in mid year, from 50.5% in June, down to 25.8% in December 2008, according to BNR statistics.

Thus, leu-denominated loans decreased 2.1 percent, and by 2.4% in real terms in December compared to prior month, down to 83.7 billion lei (21 billion euros) while foreign currency-denominated loans rose by 4.4% when expressed in lei, up to 114.4 billion lei (28.7 billion euros). But expressed in euro, the foreign currency denominated loan decreased by 1%.

At the benchmark currency exchange rate in end-December, of 3.9852 lei/euro, the single European currency was 5.4% more expensive than the currency rate in November 30, of 3.7794 lei/euro.