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Credit expansion: APRIL 2000

05/07/2000 - Press Releases

The most recent data on the evolution of credit expansion are published in the June 2000 issue of the Bulletin of Conjunctural Indicators, which is released today (Tables IV.4 through IV.7).

Total credit expansion accelerated substantially in April 2000 and its twelve-month rate of change stood at 16 per cent, compared with 14 per cent in March 2000. This acceleration is attributable to the faster rate of increase in credit both to the public sector (April 2000: 15 per cent, March 2000: 13.8 per cent) and the private sector (April 2000: 18.1 per cent, March 2000: 14.4 per cent). The faster credit expansion to the private sector is related also with the fact that measures taken by the Bank of Greece to contain credit expansion ceased to apply at end-March 2000. It is noted that, according to provisional data, credit expansion to the private sector decelarated slightly in May 2000.

As also noted in a previous press release, credit expansion has been considerably affected by the relatively high level of foreign exchange valuation differences included in the outstanding balances of loans to the private sector, owing to the significant appreciation of the Japanese yen and the US dollar. Adjusted for foreign exchange valuation differences, total credit expansion stood at 14.5 per cent in April 2000 (March 2000: 13.3 per cent) and credit expansion to the private sector at 13.3 per cent (March 2000: 10.4 per cent).

As shown by the breakdown of commercial bank lending to the private sector by branch of economic activity (see Table IV.6), credit expansion to all sectors of the economy, with the exception of consumer loans, accelerated in April 2000.

More specifically, the twelve-month rate of credit expansion to manufacturing (which includes industrial, mining and small-scale manufacturing firms) accelerated to 10.8 per cent in April 2000, compared with 6.4 per cent in the previous month. A similar acceleration was observed in credit expansion to trade (April 2000: 20.4 per cent, March 2000: 16.8 per cent).

The twelve-month growth rate of housing loans remained broadly unchanged at 25.4 per cent in April 2000, compared with 25.1 per cent in the previous month. Nevertheless, compared with the first two months of current year and December 1999, housing loan growth decelerated. Finally, the expansion of consumer credit slowed down (April 2000: 18.6 per cent, March 2000: 21 per cent), but remains at relatively high levels.

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