The growth in loans disbursed by big banks in the Philippines quickened to 8.9 percent in March from 8.8 percent in February, marking the eighth consecutive months of expansion.
Preliminary data released by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) showed that the outstanding universal and commercial bank loans amounted to P9.78 trillion in end March this year, P800 billion more than the P8.98 trillion recorded in end March last year.
“Lending activity has gained further traction as the country’s improved COVID-19 caseload continues to support market confidence,” the BSP said in a statement.
Data showed outstanding loans for production activities rose by 9.5 percent to P8.63 trillion in end March this year from P7.89 trillion in end March last year.
Various segments booked increases in lending led by real estate activities at 19.7 percent, information and communication at 28.4 percent, manufacturing at 10 percent, wholesale and retail trade, repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles at 8.7 percent as well as and financial and insurance activities at 6.2 percent.
The BSP also reported a faster increase of 3.6 in consumer loans to P867.79 billion from P837.48 billion despite the continued decline in auto loans as well as salary-based general-purpose consumption loan.
Data showed motor vehicle loans slipped by 4.2 percent to P333.16 billion in March from P347.68 billion in the same month last year.
This was offset by the double-digit 12.1 percent increase in credit card loans to P446.06 billion from P398.05 billion.
“The BSP continues to see scope to safeguard the momentum of economic recovery amid increased uncertainty over the outlook for growth and inflation,” the central bank said.
Moving forward, the BSP said it stands ready to take appropriate preemptive action as needed in ensuring non-inflationary and sustainable growth in line with our primary mandate to promote price and financial stability.