Philippines’ bank lending extended its growth streak for the fourth straight month, rising four percent to P9.35 trillion in November last year.
The November growth pace was faster than the 3.5 percent year-on-year expansion seen in October and the 2.7 percent uptick in September.
According to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas data, the loans disbursed by big banks have been steadily increasing since August last year after slumping for eight straight months from December 2020 to July 2021 due to uncertainties brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Companies borrowed more to finance their existing operations and expansion plans.
“Outstanding loans of universal and commercial banks continue to gain traction amid businesses’ optimistic economic outlook due to the easing of COVID-19 restrictions and the continued rollout of vaccines,” the central bank said.
Data showed outstanding loans for production activities grew faster at 5.3 percent to P8.27 trillion and accounted for 88.5 percent of the total lending in end-November.
Real estate loans rose eight percent to P1.85 trillion, accounting for 19.8 percent of the total disbursements, while lending to the wholesale and retail trade as well as repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles went up by 1.5 percent to P1.1 trillion for a share of 11.8 percent.
The manufacturing sector also continued to recover as lending increased by 6.7 percent to P1.06 trillion for a share of 11.3 percent, while loans disbursed to the electricity, gas, steam and air-conditioning supply sector inched up by 0.9 percent to P1.02 trillion for an 11 percent share.
Meanwhile, loans to households declined by 7.1 percent to P813.77 billion ifor a share of 8.7 percent of the total.
Auto loans shrank by 17.1 percent to P299.67 billion, while salary-based general-purpose consumption loans contracted by 9.5 percent to P74.18 billion.
Consumers continued to use their credit cards as loans went up by 2.6 percent to P426.16 billion during the 11-month period last year.