Lending growth pace nosedived in December

Corporate and household loans continued to slow sharply in December, after the negative evolution in the last two months, reads the data made public by the central bank, who signals the impact of lending shrinkage and the new regulation of BNR.

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.

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