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07 Aug 2012

Key Findings from the ECRI Statistical Package 2012: Debt crisis hits Europe’s retail credit markets

Ales Chmelar

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These Key Findings from the ECRI 2012 Statistical Package reveal that after a slender recovery of retail credit in 2010, European households registered a downward adjustment of their stock of loans in 2011. The deleveraging remains uneven and is only loosely related to the overall indebtedness of households to GDP. Moreover, the Euro Area and the EU appear to be decoupling into two groups in this regard: the geographic core and the periphery. Peripheral countries generally shared a period of fast credit expansion during the pre-crisis period, followed by record levels of deleveraging. Core countries, on the other hand, which registered low levels of credit expansion before the crisis, are now experiencing only moderate or no deleveraging.

The Key Findings relate to the more detailed ECRI 2012 Statistical Package covering 38 countries: the 27 EU member states, three EU candidate countries (Croatia, Turkey and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia), the EFTA countries (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland) and four key global economies (the United States, Australia, Canada and Japan). The purpose of the package is to provide reliable statistical information that allows users to make meaningful comparisons between these countries.