Economic Information

PRESS RELEASE - March 26, 2014

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

The financial system credit portfolio, including both nonearmarked and earmarked resources, reached R$2,733 billion in February, posting growth of 0.6% in the month and 14.7% over 12 months. The monthly result was generated by expansion of 0.6% in the balances of household and corporate segments, mostly reflecting a seasonal upturn in nonearmarked credit demand by companies and continued growth in real estate credit operations. The credit/GDP ratio remained at the January level of 55.8%, against 53.4% in February of the previous year. Interest rates and spreads continued on an upward trajectory, with default indicators remaining stable at moderate levels.

Overall lending operations granted with both nonearmarked and earmarked resources added up to R$296 billion in February, 1.8% more than in the previous month. Household lending operations dropped 0.7%, due to lesser use of credit cards for purposes of immediate payment and a downturn in vehicle financing operations. Corporate lending operations rose 4.6%, with emphasis on working capital loans and advances on exchange contracts (ACC).

The balance of loans based on nonearmarked resources reached R$1,493 billion in February, up 0.1% in the month and 7.4% over 12 months. In the month under analysis, outstanding operations with corporations expanded 0.4%, with a total of R$745 billion, coupled with a 0.3% falloff in the balance of household operations, R$747 billion. Earmarked credit operations added up to R$1,241 billion in February, up 1.2% in the month and 24.9% over 12 months, with particularly strong performances under real estate financing. The balances of corporate and household operations increased 0.8% and 1.8%, respectively, closing at R$717 billion and R$524 billion, in the same order.

Considering nonearmarked and earmarked resources, credits channeled to the private sector increased 0.5% in the month and 13.7% over 12 months, reaching R$2,575 billion in February. The balances of the real estate, rural and industrial segments increased 2.4%, 1.4% and 0.6%, respectively, while those referring to other services and individuals declined 0.6% and 0.2%, in the same order. Credits to the public sector expanded 2.4%, stressing that the balance of operations with federal government entities grew 4.4%.

I.1 - Interest and default rates

When operations with both nonearmarked and earmarked resources are included, the average rate of interest on financial system credit operations reached 20.9% in February, up 0.2 p.p. in the month and 2.2 p.p. from February 2013. The average rate on nonearmarked credit operations closed at 31.5%, due to expansion of 0.8 p.p. in the month and 5 p.p. over 12 months, while the average cost in the case of earmarked credits reached 7.6%, with variations of -0.3 p.p. and 0.4 p.p., using the same basis of comparison.

As for household credit operations, the average rate of interest closed February at 27.2%, reflecting increases of 0.4 p.p. in the month and 2.3 p.p. over 12 months. In the nonearmarked credit segment, the average cost closed at 41.2%, due to a monthly high of 1.3 p.p., mainly reflecting highs of 3.4% p.p. and 2.6 p.p. under non payroll-deducted loans and overdraft accounts. In operations involving earmarked resources, the average rate of interest declined 0.5 p.p. in the month, closing at 7.2%, mainly as a result of a 0.8 p.p. falloff in real estate financing operations.

With respect to corporate loans, the average cost reached 16%, with highs of 0.1 p.p. in the month and 2 p.p. in 12 months. In operations with nonearmarked resources, the average rate rose by 0.3 p.p. in the month, closing at 23.1%, while the average rate in the segment of earmarked resources stood at 7.9%, a drop of 0.1 p.p.

The banking spread on operations involving nonearmarked and earmarked resources came to 12.2 p.p., growing 0.4 p.p. in the month and 0.2 p.p. over 12 months. Monthly growth reflected a high of 0.7 p.p. in the household segment and was impacted by a 1.3 p.p. growth in operations based on nonearmarked resources. The spreads on operations in the nonearmarked and earmarked segments corresponded to 19.7 p.p. and 2.9 p.p., respectively.

Financial system default, corresponding to operations with arrears of more than 90 days, remained stable at 3%, the lowest level of the historical series that began in March 2011. In this case, mention should be made of the 0.1 p.p. reduction in household credit operations (4.3%) and the high of 0.1 p.p. in corporate credit operations (1.9%). When the analysis is limited only to operations with nonearmarked resources, the default rate remained at 4.8%, with 6.5% for household operations and 3.3% for corporations. In the framework of operations with earmarked resources, the indicator registered a monthly high of 0.1 p.p., rising to a level of 1%, reflecting respective default rates of 1.7% and 0.4% in the household and corporate segments.

II - Monetary aggregates

In the month of February, the monetary base reached a daily average of R$227.8 billion, declining 3.3% against January and expanding 6% over the last 12 months. This result was a consequence of monthly reductions of 2.5% in currency issued and 6.9% in banking reserves.

Among the monthly flows of the factors affecting monetary issuances, National Treasury operations accounted for a contraction of R$18.8 billion, adjustments in operations with derivatives, R$8.3 billion, and financial institutions deposits, including compulsory reserves, R$2.8 billion. These contractionary impacts were offset by operations with federal public securities, which generated an expansionary impact of R$32.2 billion, reflecting net purchases of R$41.3 billion on the secondary market and net placements of R$9.1 billion on the primary market.

Average daily restricted money supply (M1) balances reached R$311.8 billion in February, a monthly decline of 3.5%, corresponding to falloffs of 4.6% under demand deposits and 2.4% in currency held by the public. Accumulated M1 expansion over 12 months closed at 7.3%.

The balance in the M2 concept, in which the money supply corresponds to M1 plus savings deposits and private securities, rose by 0.5% in February, reaching R$1.9 trillion. This result reflected increases in all of the M2 components, with particular mention of 0.7% expansion under savings deposits, which totaled R$608.1 billion, with net inflows of R$1.9 billion. The balance of private securities increased 0.2%, reaching R$1 trillion, despite net redemptions of R$7.5 billion in time deposits.

The M3 concept, which encompasses M2, quotas of fixed-rate investment funds and public bonds used to back repo operations among currency holders and the financial sector, expanded 0.4% in the month, reaching R$3.8 trillion, reflecting 1% growth in the balance of quotas of fixed-rate funds, which totaled R$1.8 trillion. M4, which aggregates M3 and public securities held by the nonfinancial public, grew 0.6% in February and 7.8% over the last 12 months, closing with a total of R$4.5 trillion.

Additional statistics to those disclosed in the Press Release are available on the time series system of the Central Bank of Brazil at