ECONOMY

Credit expansion slowed down further in March

Credit expansion continued its slowdown in March, falling to 3.5 percent from 3.9 percent in February and 4.2 percent in December, according to data released yesterday by the Bank of Greece (BoG), the country’s central bank. Compared with February, there was a significant slowdown in credit expansion to local enterprises, while the rate of new loans to households remained stable last month. The annual rate of credit expansion slowed down to 4.3 percent in March from 4.9 percent in February, while in December it ended the year at 5.1 percent. BoG notes that credit to enterprises in March was affected by the internal moves of one credit group, resulting in a one-off decline in net flows (less 639 million euros), unlike in February, when the opposite moves had brought about a temporary increase in the flow. Without that, the net flows in March would have been of benefit to companies (at 61 million euros).