So, in January, banks have offered 2.14 billion lek worth of loans as opposed to 2.54 billion lek worth of loans that were issued in January a year ago. This amount includes loans issued to individuals, businesses and nonprofit organizations.
On the other hand, if we refer to new loans issued in European currency, we’ll notice how in January this year, banks have only issued 63 million euros worth of loans as opposed to 68 million in January last year. This amount is even smaller than December 2018 when the value of loans that banks issued was 96 million euros. These figures clearly indicate that at the beginning of this year, lending has been shrinking. Meanwhile, the US currency also reflects the same tendency. It must be said that loans in the US currency have seen a bigger decline than loans in other currencies. In January last year, loans in the US currency amounted to 22 million USD, while this January, they amounted to only 8 million. Perhaps this is also due to the fact that individuals or businesses are less interested in obtaining loans in this currency, because their incomes are mainly in the domestic currency, lek, but also in the European currency, euro. Therefore, obtaining loans in other currencies, such as the USD, may make it harder for them to make payments.
Amount of loans issued to farmers is also falling
The amount of loans that banks are offering to farmers is also declining. According to the country’s central bank, the total amount of loans that was allocated for the agricultural sector last year saw a decline. At the end of last year, the amount of loans granted for agriculture was 4.75 billion lek as opposed to 5.4 billion a year ago. This decline of 12% is considered to be a significant one.