MANILA - Bank lending grew 8.9 percent year-on-year in March, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas said on Wednesday, slightly quicker than the 8.8 percent expansion seen in February.
On a month-on-month seasonally-adjusted basis, outstanding universal and commercial bank loans, net of RRPs [reverse repurchase agreements] went up by 0.2 percent.
"Lending activity has gained further traction as the country’s improved COVID-19 caseload continues to support market confidence," the BSP said.
Outstanding loans for production activities rose by 9.5 percent in March from 9.7 percent in February. Consumer loans to residents went up by 3.6 percent in March after a 0.9-percent increase in February amid a rise in credit card loans, the central bank said.
"The BSP continues to see scope to safeguard the momentum of economic recovery amid increased uncertainty over the outlook for growth and inflation," the BSP said.
The central bank has kept its benchmark rate at a historic low of 2 percent since November 2020 to help the country's pandemic-battered economy recover.
Analysts however expect the BSP to raise interest rates within the year to tame rising inflation.