ECONOMY

Credit expansion posts slowdown

Household borrowing is decelerating markedly, with Bank of Greece data showing on Friday that credit expansion to households posted a significant decline last month. The balance of mortgage and consumer loans in the January-to-October 2008 period grew by 15.1 percent on an annual basis. This shows a slowdown in expansion, as in September the rate was at 16.3 percent. The net increase in mortgage loans reached 262 million euros in October, while their 12-month growth rate dropped to 13.7 percent from 14.9 percent in September. Consumer loans posted a net rise of 291 million euros and their annual growth dropped from 20.7 percent in September to 19.1 percent in October. Business loans However, the acceleration in loans extended to businesses kept the overall growth rate of borrowing in October virtually unchanged at 19.7 percent, compared with 19.5 percent in September. Corporate credit expansion increased to 24.1 percent in October from 22.5 percent in September, with the absolute figure for new business loans reaching 1.864 billion euros. Funding increased across all sectors with the exceptions of shipping, transport and communications and tourism, where there was a slight slowdown, the Bank of Greece data showed.