Expected growth for the economy of around 3% for this year and the next have been described as “poor” by the president of the Central Reserve Bank (BCR), Julio Velarde. However, he has considered that the levels of expansion of loans in the financial system are still reasonable.
Credit went from a year-on-year increase of 4.4% in December 2021 to another of 6.7% in July of this year, mainly driven by financing to individuals, said the BCR in its recent Inflation Report.
Given this progress, the monetary institution decided to revise credit growth (including Reactiva Peru) upwards from 4.5% to 5.5% for 2022. And for next year it projects that it will grow 5.2%.
In a context of lower growth of the local economy, loans to companies have slowed down, while consumer loans in particular are gaining momentum, he said. Arturo García, professor of Finance programs at Esan.
According to data from the BCR, the business loanss advanced at an annualized pace of just 1.7% in July this year. In that same month, consumer loans registered a year-on-year expansion of 22.7%.
Bet on consumer credit
Based on the increase in the reference interest rate, the rise in the cost of credit and the economic slowdown, financial entities have tried to compensate for the lower dynamism of business credit with greater growth in consumer loanGarcia said.
Likewise, mortgage financing maintains growth rates of more than 8%, he said.
García considered that the banks are betting on increasing the portfolio, but maintaining the quality of credit risk. “They are targeting customers with the highest ability to pay,” he added.
Luis Eduardo Falen, head of macroeconomics at Intéligo SAB, warned that higher interest rates are hitting credit in general. People are postponing their decisions to consume goods that they consider not so necessary.
If the economy continues to grow at poor rates, business credit will definitely continue to slow down and consumer credit will begin to do so, García said. “I don’t think that in 2023 consumer loans will maintain the same rate of expansion as this year,” he estimated.
Although credit dollarization is still low, it has risen slightly from the previous year, Julio Velarde said. It increased from 21.1% in December 2021 to 23.1% as of July 2022.
“But the important thing is that families and small businesses hardly have loans in dollars, they are in soles,” said the president of the BCR
Corporations and large companies that maintain loans in foreign currency have a way to hedge against exchange risk, Velarde said. Also some medium-sized companies, which if they are not in the export sector, do run a risk, warned
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