Deposits in Greek banks declined by more than 2.4 billion euros in the first four months of the year, while credit contraction has continued in 2017 for an eighth consecutive year. Still, April was the second month of credit expansion.
The sum of Greek deposits reached almost 118.9 billion euros at the end of last month, down from about 121.4 billion at end-December 2016, due to the uncertainty that has prevailed over the Greek economy this year.
Bank of Greece data show a fresh 313.3-million-euro drop in deposits from end-March to end-April – a result of the 665.3-million-euro decline in the cash flow of corporations, from nearly 20.5 billion in March to almost 19.8 billion last month.
In fact the picture of corporate deposits in April looks technically better than it would had it not been for the 620-million-euro share capital increase by Fraport Greece and Sklavenitis’s 400-million-euro bond.
The level of savings has practically reverted to what it was in 2001, when Greece was still using the drachma, and forecasts speak of a stable picture with few fluctuations expected in the rest of 2017. Senior bank officials say the next few months will be difficult despite the projections for more revenues from tourism: The tax obligations starting from July, with income tax and later Single Property Tax (ENFIA) deadlines, are expected to eat further into the savings of households and corporations’ cash flow.
Meanwhile the difference between loans issued and old loans paid back has remained in negative territory in 2017, reaching a rate of -0.9 percent in the first four months. However, April showed a positive flow amounting to 659 million euros after an expansion of 307 million euros in March.
The total loans of corporations and households amounted to 193.2 billion euros at end-April, of which 93.9 billion was in corporate loans and 86.2 billion household debt. Another 13.1 billion euros represents the arrears of self-employed professionals.