MANILA, Philippines - Bank lending continued to pick up in March, as economic growth remained strong, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas said.
The BSP said lending by universal and commercial banks, net of bank placements in the central bank, jumped 20 percent to P3.862 trillion in March.
Along with placements in the BSP, lending went up 18.3 percent to P4.120 trillion in March.
"The sustained growth in bank lending reflects robust economic demand," the BSP said.
Loans for production activities, which comprises more than four-fifths of the total credit portfolio, rose 18.1 percent to P3.458 trillion in March.
This was driven by increased lending to the following sectors: real estate (P708.242 billion); manufacturing (P619.611 billion); wholesale and retail trade (P557.091 billion); electricity, gas, and water (P399.713 billion); and financial intermediation (P321.929 billion).
Meanwhile, consumer loans went up 11.7 percent to P285.853 billion in March, due to expansion of credit card loans and other types of loans.
"Going forward, the BSP will continue to closely monitor credit and liquidity conditions to ensure that bank lending moves in tandem with the pace of economic activity while at the same time maintaining price and financial stability," the BSP said.