ECONOMY

Consumer and mortgage credit power the economy

Consumer loans and mortgages continue to fuel the Greek economy, according to Bank of Greece data for September, released yesterday. The central bank said total credit expanded 9.9 percent, year-on-year, against 7.8 percent in August. Consumer loans were up a robust 23.1 percent, bringing the rise for the January-September period to 39.1 percent, against 38.4 percent for the eight months to August. The balance of consumer loans stood at 15.7 billion euros, and of mortgages at 30.8 percent at the end of September. The balance of card credit was 23.7 percent higher at the end of the same month than a year earlier – against 22.9 percent at the end of August, reaching a total of 7.2 billion euros. Personal loans outperformed all other categories, standing 66.6 percent higher, year-on-year, against 67.5 percent at the end of August. In corporate lending, credit to tourism enterprises advanced 17.9 percent compared to September 2003, faster than in any other category, and with the balance standing at 3.8 billion euros. Commercial credit expanded 10.4 percent in the nine months to September, year-on-year, against 8.2 percent in August, and the balance of loans reached 18.3 billion euros. Loans to industrial concerns grew notably slower, standing 1.3 percent higher (0.4 percent at the end of August), with the balance reaching 15.7 billion euros.