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Credit expansion: JULY 2000

06/10/2000 - Press Releases

The August-September 2000 issue of the Bulletin of Conjunctural Indicators which is released today provides the latest data on the evolution of credit expansion (Tables IV.4 to IV.7).

Total credit expansion decelerated in July 2000 relative to the previous month and its year-on-year rate stood at 14.9 per cent (June 2000: 15.7 per cent). This slowdown was due to lower rates of increase in credit to both the public sector (July 2000: 11.8 per cent, June 2000: 12.7 per cent) and the private sector (July 2000: 21.6 per cent, June 2000: 22.3 per cent). The evolution of credit expansion has been affected by the relatively sizable foreign exchange valuation differences included in the outstanding balances of loans to the private sector, as a result of the considerable appreciation of the Japanese yen (July 2000 over July 1000: 26.4 per cent) and the US dollar (July 2000 over July 1999: 20.1 per cent)1. Adjusted for valuation differences, credit expansion to the private sector came to 17.6 per cent in July 2000, and total credit expansion reached 13.6 per cent.

A sectoral breakdown of commercial bank lending (see Table IV.6) shows a deceleration of credit expansion mostly to households and, to a lesser degree, to industry in the first seven months of the year. In the other sectors, in particular trade, credit expansion demonstrated a considerable acceleration.

More specifically, credit to industry (which includes mining and small-scale enterprises) rose by 5.4 per cent in the January-July 2000 period, compared with 5.9 per cent in the corresponding 1999 period. Its twelve-month rate of increase dropped to 10.7 per cent in July 2000, from 11.3 per cent in December 1999.

Credit expansion to trade accelerated considerably in the first seven months of 2000, especially from April 2000 onwards, after the measures taken by the Bank of Greece for the containment of bank credit had expired. The twelve-month rate of increase in credit to trade came to 26 per cent in July 2000, compared with 6.5 per cent at end-1999.

The rate of increase in housing loans demonstrated a small slowdown in the period under review, dropping to 24.8 per cent year-on-year in July 2000, from 26.9 per cent in December 1999.

A substantial deceleration was recorded in the rate of increase in consumer loans, which stood at 22.6 per cent in July 2000 compared with 31 per cent in December 1999. However, it should be noted that, since April 2000, when the measures for the containment of credit (consumer credit in particular) expired, this rate has been showing a slightly upward trend.


It should be noted that around 48 per cent of foreign currency loans to the private sector has been contracted in those two currencies. Thus, their appreciation leads to a considerable increase in the outstanding balances of the drachma value of such loans, but does not reflect a corresponding increase in bank credit.





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