18 Aug 2016

Key Findings from the ECRI Statistical Package 2016

Roberto Musmeci

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The ECRI Statistical Package 2016, Lending to Households and Non-Financial Corporations, offers an extensive and detailed overview of the credit market in the EU, providing data on the total lending extended by monetary financial institutions (MFIs) to domestic households and non-financial corporations (NFIs) in EU countries over the 1995-2015 period. The 2016 edition also provides data on a selection of other developed and emerging economies, which this year has been expanded with the addition of Mexico and Saudi Arabia.

The ECRI Statistical Package 2016, Lending to Households and Non-Financial Corporations, reveals that total non-financial lending in the EU had increased in real terms at the end-of 2015, for the first time following six consecutive years of contraction. Nevertheless, despite the overall increase of the outstanding debt, the analysis of the data collected at the granular level discloses very heterogeneous trends both across country groups and lending sectors.

At the country level, in 2015, the total non-financial debt increased sharply in real terms in the socalled new member states (NMSs), while in the EU 15 countries it registered only a slight expansion. Moreover, different patterns arise when a cross-sectoral analysis of the European credit market is conducted. The total outstanding loans granted to households registered a meaningful expansion both in NMSs and EU15 countries, driven by the expansion in the consumer and housing sectors. Indeed, after the stabilisation in 2014, the total amount of housing loans increased significantly in real terms across the EU, with the exception of Greece, Spain, Croatia, Hungary, Ireland, Latvia, Portugal and Bulgaria. In the NMSs, housing credit registered a positive trend for the third consecutive year, after the severe contraction in 2012. Finally, consumer credit has witnessed a remarkable trend reversal, increasing homogenously across all EU countries.

By contrast, the total loans granted to NFCs decreased in real terms for the seventh consecutive year at EU level, reflecting the contraction registered in Ireland, Hungary, Slovenia, Greece, Malta, Portugal, Croatia, Spain, Germany, Italy, Latvia, UK, Bulgaria and Austria. Finally, business lending in NMSs reversed the negative trend registered over the period 2012-14, marking a significant increase.