Bank loans grew 13.4 percent year-on-year in December, slower than the 13.9-percent expansion in December, latest data from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas show.
The BSP said that on a month-on-month seasonally-adjusted basis, outstanding universal and commercial bank loans also decreased marginally by 0.04 percent.
Michael Ricafort, chief economist of Rizal Commercial Banking Corp., told Manila Standard the pace of bank lending in December remained among the fastest in nearly three years.
He said the slight slowdown “may have to do with higher US/global/local interest rates that increased borrowing costs that somewhat dampened demand for loans, higher inflation and risk of US recession.”
Ricafort said the risk factors were still overshadowed by measures to further reopen the economy towards normalcy that increased demand for loans amid more jobs, sales and income or livelihood. “Businesses and industries can also plan better with new investments and expansion plans, which entail more demand for loans,” he said. Julito G. Rada