Economic Information

PRESS RELEASE - April 24, 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$3,060 billion in March, up 1.2% in the month and 11.2% over twelve months, against respective variations of 0.4% and 11% in February. The monthly trajectory reflected the seasonal recovery of credit demand by companies, in addition to the higher number of business days in March. The balance of corporate operations reached R$1,622 billion, up 1.6% in the month, whereas the household portfolio rose by 0.8% to R$1,439 billion. The credit/GDP ratio reached 54.8%, as compared to 54.4% in February and 52.2% in March 2014.

The credit portfolio with nonearmarked resources reached R$1,578 billion in March, up 0.8% in the month and 5.2% over twelve months. The balance of corporate operations rose by 1.3% to R$792 billion, with emphasis on external on-lending operations, export financing operations - both influenced by the foreign exchange depreciation - and other credits (notably, acquisition of receivables). The household portfolio grew by 0.4% to R$787 billion, mainly due to the expansion of payroll-deducted loans.

Earmarked credit operations reached R$1,482 billion, up 1.6% in the month and 18.4% over twelve months. Household financing contracts totaled R$652 billion, up 1.3% in the month, driven by the growth of house financing operations. The balance of corporate credit operations rose by 1.8% to R$830 billion, mainly reflecting the performance of investment financing with BNDES funds, fueled by increased disbursements and the exchange depreciation observed in the period.

Considering the monthly evolution of credit operations classified according to the borrowers' economic activity sector, including corporations of the private and public sectors, it should be highlighted the manufacturing industry, transportation services, and trade, with respective balances of R$450 billion (+1.1%), R$161 billion (+2.5%), and R$297 billion (+1.1%). Conversely, the deceleration of financing operations to companies in the construction industry persisted in March, with a decline of 1% to R$113 billion. The breakdown by type of borrowers reveals that the credit volume to the private sector dropped by 1.1% to R$2,840 billion, highlighting the contribution of corporate operations. The credit channeled to the government added up to R$220 billion, up 2.8% in the month, reflecting respective gains of 3% and 2.6% in operations with entities connected to the federal government and states and municipalities, respectively.

As for the distribution of the credit portfolio by geographic regions, considering operations over R$1 thousand, the balance regarding the Southeast region (55% of the national total) grew by 1.2% in the month and 11.7% over twelve months, reaching R$1,629 billion in March. In the South region, credit operations increased by 0.7% and 10.5% in the same periods, totaling R$542 billion. In the Northeast region, the balance reached R$390 billion, up 0.7% in the month and 13.3% over twelve months. In the Central-West region, the balance reached R$312 billion, up 1% and 16.5%, respectively. In the North region, the credit balance reached R$114 billion, up 0.6% in the month and 9.2% over twelve months.

I.1 - Interest and default rates

The average interest rate of financial system credit operations, including contracts with nonearmarked and earmarked resources, reached 25.8% p.a. in March, up 0.2 p.p. in the month and 1.7 p.p. over twelve months. With regard to nonearmarked credit operations, the average cost reached 40.9% p.a., up 0.3 p.p. in the month and 4.4 p.p. over twelve months. In the earmarked segment, the average rate reached 8.4% p.a., up 0.2 p.p. and 0.5 p.p. in the same comparison bases.

As for household credit operations, the average cost grew by 0.4% p.p. in the month and 1.8 p.p. over twelve months, closing at 33.2% p.a. With regard to the nonearmarked segment, the rate reached 54.4% p.a., up 0.1 p.p. in the month. In the earmarked segment, the average cost of household credit operations increased by 0.9 p.p. in the month to 8.5% p.a.

As for corporate loans, the average interest rate reached 18.1% p.a., remaining stable during the month and rising by 1.5 p.p. over twelve months. With regard to operations with nonearmarked resources, the average interest rate increased by 0.4 p.p. in the month to 26.5% p.a.; in the earmarked segment, the rate fell by 0.3 p.p. to 8.4% p.a.

The bank spread regarding operations with nonearmarked and earmarked resources decreased by 0.3 p.p. in the month and increased by 1 p.p. over twelve months, closing at 16.3 p.p. Indicators regarding the household and corporate segments reached 23.4 p.p. and 9 p.p., respectively, both declining by 0.2 p.p. in the month. As for the nonearmarked and earmarked segments, the spread fell by 0.1 p.p. and 0.3 p.p. in the month, reaching 28.2 p.p. and 2.7 p.p., respectively.

The default rate of financial system credit operations, which measures the percentage of credit balances overdue for more than ninety days, closed at 2.8%, remaining stable over the month and dropping by 0.1 p.p. over twelve months. With regard to household credits, the index fell to 3.7% (-0.1 p.p.), while, in the corporate segment, it rose to 2.1% (+0.1 p.p.). In the nonearmarked credit segment, the default rate remained stable at 4.4%, while, in the earmarked segment, it fell by 0.1 p.p. to 1.1%.

II - Evolution of monetary aggregates

The average daily balance of the monetary base reached R$240.7 billion in March, dropping by 0.5% in the month, reflecting declines of 1.2% under currency issued and 3.3% under bank reserves. Over twelve months, the monetary base rose by 7.9%.

Among the monthly flows of factors conditioning the monetary base, it should be highlighted the adjustments in operations with derivatives, with an expansion of R$34.5 billion, as opposed to operations with federal securities, with a decline of R$30.7 billion, consequent upon net inflows of R$72.8 billion in the primary market and net purchases of R$42.1 billion in the secondary market.

The average daily balance of the restricted means of payment (M1) reached R$316.2 billion in March, with a monthly decrease of 1.9%, due to a 3.9% decline in demand deposits and stability in currency outside banks. Over twelve months, M1 grew by 1.9%.

The balance of M2, comprising M1 plus savings deposits and private securities, fell by 0.2% in March to R$2.1 trillion. This trajectory mainly reflected the 1.3% decline under M1 and stability in the balance of private securities, which added up R$1.2 trillion, despite net redemptions of R$4.9 billion in time deposits. The balance of savings deposits remained unchanged at R$660 billion, notwithstanding net redemptions of R$11.4 billion.

M3, comprising M2 plus quotas of fixed-income funds and government securities backing repurchase operations between the public and the financial sector, increased by 0.5% in the month to R$4.4 trillion, reflecting the 1.7% growth in the balance of quotas of fixed-income funds to R$2.1 trillion. M4, which encompasses M3 and public bonds held by the nonfinancial public, grew by 1.5% in March and 13.9% over the last twelve months, totaling R$5.1 trillion.