Lending rose modest 2.1% in April

JIJI

The average daily balance of lending by banks and “shinkin” banks grew 2.1 percent from a year before to ¥476.59 trillion in April, the Bank of Japan said Monday.

The combined lending balance rose for the 30th straight month, with the pace of growth unchanged from March.

Excluding shinkin banks, the balance rose 2.2 percent, up for the 31st straight month. The pace of growth slowed to 1.1 percent at city banks and accelerated to 3.3 percent at regional and second-tier regional banks.

The BOJ said there was no change in the trend of loans spreading to a wider range of midsize and small businesses, which more than offset a falloff after foreign currency-denominated loans rose sharply last year when converted into yen due to the yen’s weakening.

The data revealed no much impact of the last-minute surge in consumer spending ahead of the consumption tax hike in April and the subsequent fall, the central bank said.

The combined balance of deposits rose 3.0 percent to ¥607.38 trillion, up for the 84th straight month.

Some deposit money may have shifted to investment funds in the wake of the start in January of the Nippon Individual Savings Account, or NISA, a tax-free small-lot investment program modeled after Britain’s Individual Savings Account.

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