Economic Information

PRESS RELEASE - March 25, 2015

Monetary Policy and Financial System Credit Operations
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I - Financial system credit operations

Total financial system credit operations, including operations with nonearmarked and earmarked resources, reached R$3,026 billion in February, up 0.5% in the month and 11% over twelve months. Corporate credit operations grew by 0.6% to R$1,599 billion, whereas household credit operations rose by 0.3% to R$1,428 billion. The credit/GDP ratio remained stable at 58.6%, as compared to 55.5% in February 2014.

Operations with nonearmarked resources reached R$1,568 billion in February, up 0.1% in the month and 5.2% over twelve months. The monthly expansion was due to the 0.6% growth under corporate credit operations to R$783 billion, especially under the modalities regarding overdraft accounts, foreign on-lending and export financing, these influenced by the foreign exchange rate depreciation over the period. The household portfolio declined by 0.3% to R$784 billion, mainly due to the reduction under credit card operations with immediate payment.

Earmarked credit operations totaled R$1,459 billion, up 0.8% in the month and 18.1% over twelve months. Household operations grew by 1% to R$644 billion, mainly reflecting the growth trajectory in house financing portfolio. Corporate operations rose by 0.6% to R$815 billion, mainly due to expansion under investment financing with BNDES funds, partially reflecting the foreign exchange rate depreciation during the period.

The breakdown of credit operations according to borrowers' economic activity sector, which includes legal entities of the private and public sectors, reveals a monthly recovery under the balances regarding the manufacturing industry, transportation services, and public administration, with respective balances of R$446 billion (+0.9%), R$157 billion (+1.4%), and R$101 billion (+2.1%). As for the trade sector, the downward trajectory persisted in February, with a decline of 0.7% to R$294 billion. When credit operations are broken down by type of borrower, the credit granted to the private sector reached R$2,812 billion, up 0.4%, with emphasis on corporate credit operations. Credit granted to the government added up to R$214 billion, for a monthly expansion of 1.8%, reflecting respective gains of 1.9% and 1.7% under operations with entities of the federal government and states and municipalities.

As for the distribution of the credit portfolio by geographic regions, considering operations above R$1 thousand, the balance regarding the Southeast region (54% of the country's total) reached R$1,609 billion in February, growing 0.4% in the month and 12.2% over twelve months. In the South region, credit operations increased by 0.2% and 10.6% in the same comparison basis, totaling R$538 billion. In the Northeast region, the balance reached R$387 billion, with respective expansions of 0.2% in the month and 8.9% over twelve months, whereas in the Central-West region the credit balance reached R$309 billion, with respective gains of 0.5% and 16.7% in the same comparison basis. Finally, the credit balance reached R$113 billion in the North region, dropping by 0.2% in the month and increasing by 8.8% over twelve months.


I.1 - Interest and default rates

The average interest rate of financial system credit operations, including operations with nonearmarked and earmarked resources, reached 25.6% p.a. in February, up 0.7 p.p. in the month and 1.7 p.p. over twelve months. With regard to the nonearmarked segment, the average cost closed at 40.6% p.a., with increases of 1.5 p.p. in the month and 4.4 p.p. over twelve months. As for the earmarked segment, the average rate came to 8.2% p.a., dropping by 0.2 p.p. in the month and growing by 0.6 p.p. over February 2014.

In the household segment, the average interest rate rose by 0.8 p.p. in the month and 1.8 p.p. over twelve months, closing at 32.8% p.a. With regard to contracts with nonearmarked resources, the average rate reached 54.3% p.a., up 2.3 p.p. in the month, due to the increased cost under the modalities of credit card (+7.8 p.p.), purchase of vehicles (+1 p.p.), non-payroll deducted loans (+0.6 p.p.), and overdraft accounts (+5.2 p.p.). In the earmarked segment, the average rate of household operations fell by 0.6 p.p. in the month to 7.6% p.a., reflecting the 1 p.p. decline in the average cost of house financing contracts at regulated rates.

In the corporate segment, the average interest rate reached 18.1% p.a., up 0.7 p.p. in the month and 1.5 p.p. over twelve months. The indicator increased by 0.9 p.p. in the nonearmarked segment to 26.1% p.a. in the month, highlighting the 0.7 p.p. increase in the average cost for both working capital and advances on foreign exchange contracts. With regard to the earmarked segment, the average interest rate of corporate operations reached 8.7% p.a., up 0.2 p.p., mainly due to the 0.4 p.p. growth under investment financing with BNDES funds.

The bank spread regarding operations with nonearmarked and earmarked resources increased by 0.6 p.p. in the month and 1.4 p.p. over twelve months, closing at 16.6 p.p. Indicators relating to the household and corporate segments came to 23.6 p.p. and 9.2 p.p., respectively. In the nonearmarked and earmarked segments, the spread reached 28.3 p.p. (+1.1 p.p.) and 3 p.p. (+0.1 p.p.), respectively.

The default rate of financial system credit operations, regarding delays over ninety days, remained stable in the month and declined by 0.1 p.p. over twelve months, closing at 2.8%. With regard to household credit operations, the indicator reached 3.8% (+0.1 p.p. in the month). As for household credit operations, the default rate remained stable at 2%. In the nonearmarked and earmarked segments, the default remained stable at 4.4% and 1.1%, respectively.


II - Evolution of monetary aggregates

The average daily balance of the monetary base reached R$241.9 billion in February, dropping by 4.4% in the month, corresponding to declines of 14.2% under bank reserves and 2.2% under currency issued. Over twelve months, the monetary base grew by 6.2%.

Among the monthly flows of factors conditioning the monetary base, it should be highlighted the expansion of R$27.3 billion regarding adjustments in operations with derivatives, and of R$5.4 billion in financial institutions' deposits, reflecting the variations in the balances of compulsory deposits. Conversely, operations with federal securities fell by R$23.8 billion (net purchases of R$23.2 billion on the secondary market and net issuances of R$47 billion on the primary market), while National Treasury operations dropped by R$11.2 billion.

The average daily balance of the restricted means of payment (M1) reached R$322.3 billion in February, dropping by 2.9% in the month, reflecting declines by 2.4% under currency outside banks and 3.4% under demand deposits. M1 expanded by 3.4% over twelve months.

M2 (M1 plus savings deposits and private securities) rose by 1.1% to R$2.1 trillion in February. This trajectory reflected the 1.3% increase to R$1.1 trillion in the balance of private securities, notwithstanding net redemptions of R$9.2 billion in time deposits. Savings deposits added up to R$661.4 billion, dropping by 0.3% in the month, consequent upon net redemptions of R$6.3 billion.

M3, which comprises M2 plus quotas of fixed-income funds and government securities backing repurchase operations between the public and the financial sector, increased by 0.4% to R$4.3 trillion in the month, reflecting the growth of 1.6% to R$2 trillion in the balance of quotas of fixed-income funds. M4, which encompasses M3 and public securities held by the nonfinancial public, expanded by 0.4% in February and 13% over the last twelve months to R$5.1 trillion.