The lending activity of big banks in the Philippines grew at a faster rate in May to mark the fastest annual expansion in two years, according to data released by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) on Thursday.
Preliminary data released by the central bank showed that bank lending jumped by 10.7% in May, faster than the 10.1% in April. This is also the quickest growth since the 11.2% recorded in May 2020.
This translates to P9.974-trillion worth of outstanding loans of universal and commercial banks net of reverse repurchase placements with the BSP, up from P9.906 trillion in April and P9.012 trillion in May 2021.
Outstanding loans to residents jumped by 10.6% to P8.799 trillion from P7.939 trillion, with loans for production activities up 10.8%, real estate activities by 16.4%, manufacturing by 16.0%, and information and communication by 27.1%.
Growth in consumer loans to residents also increased by 8.5%, on the back of the annual growth in credit card loans and salary-based general purpose consumption loans.
Outstanding loans to non-residents grew at a slower rate of 12.5% to P283.583 billion from April’s 10.1% growth at P9.905 billion.
“With the ongoing normalization of its monetary policy settings, the BSP will continue to ensure that the expansion in credit and liquidity proceeds in line with the outlook for inflation and economic growth while remaining consistent with the BSP’s price and financial stability objectives,” the central bank said in an accompanying statement.
The Monetary Board of the BSP last week hiked its key rates for the second straight month by 25 basis points — the overnight reverse repurchase facility to 2.5%, the overnight deposit facility to 2.0%, and the overnight lending facility to 3.0%.
Inflation has been on an uptrend so far this year, hitting a three-year high of 5.4% in May. It is expected to average 5.6% in the second half of the year.