The credit activity of banks towards the non-monetary sector in the first quarter of this year, observed at the year-on-year level, continued to slow down, according to the analysis of trends in credit activity in this period by the National Bank of Serbia (NBS).
The NBS points out that such a trend occurred under the influence of the high base from the previous year, the maturity of loans from guarantee schemes and higher interest rates in the conditions of restrictive monetary policies of the National Bank and the European Central Bank.
Loans to the economy continued to slow down year-on-year growth during the first quarter to two percent in March, from 7.1 percent in December last year, and in the first three months they were reduced by RSD 12.5 billion, or by 0.8 percent.
Observed by purpose, in the first quarter, investment loans decreased the most, by 6.5 billion dinars, followed by loans for liquidity and working capital and uncategorized loans, with a decrease of 3.6 billion dinars each.
When it comes to problematic loans, their participation in total loans to the economy dropped to a new minimum of two percent in March, which is 0.1 percentage points lower than at the end of 2022.
Slowed year-on-year growth of loans to households
As for loans to households, the year-on-year growth of these loans further slowed to 4.4 percent in March, from 6.3 percent at the end of 2022, which, according to the central bank, was contributed to by lower demand for loans due to rising interest rates. And high base effects from the previous year.
In nominal terms, loans to households in March amounted to RSD 1,448.3 billion, which is 46.8 percent of banks’ credit claims from the non-monetary sector, or 19.8 percent of gross domestic product (GDP).
During the first quarter, loans to households decreased by 0.8 billion dinars or by 0.1 percent.
Observed by purpose, claims from citizens on the basis of uncategorized loans, 1.7 billion dinars, as well as cash loans, 0.6 billion and consumer loans, 0.1 billion dinars, were reduced.
Unlike them, housing loans increased by 1.4 billion dinars, their year-on-year growth in March was 8.0 percent, so the share of housing loans in total household loans in the first quarter increased by 0.1 percentage point to 40.4 percent in March, while the share of cash loans, 43.7 percent, was the same as at the end of 2022.
The share of non-performing loans in total household loans in March was 4.1 percent, which is 0.1 percentage points more than at the end of last year.
Observed by purposes, compared to the end of 2022, the share of problematic housing loans did not change, for negative current account balances it was lower by 0.5 percentage points, while it increased for credit cards, cash and consumer loans.