Loans push private demand up // Consumption monitoring

According to Raiffeisenbank analysts, in the first quarter of 2021, net consumer lending (excluding savings) for the first time since the second quarter of 2020 began to make a positive contribution to the dynamics of final household consumption. This happened against the backdrop of a continuing decline in household incomes (see chart).

At the same time, in May 2021, according to the Central Bank, the growth rate of unsecured consumer lending increased to 2.2% from 1.6% in April. We will remind, earlier the first deputy chairman of the Central Bank Ksenia Yudaeva noted that the level of debt burden of citizens is at a historically high level. From July 1, the regulator introduces measures to restrain such growth – premiums to risk ratios at the level in effect before the pandemic.

According to the RANEPA, as of April 1, the ratio of loan payments to disposable cash income of the population reached 11.9% – which is the maximum value in the entire history of observations. “If we correlate, for example, debt on loans with the income of the population, then this figure is now at its maximum – 36%, while in 2019 it was 30%,” says Stanislav Murashov from Raiffeisenbank. However, judging by a metric similar in meaning from the National Bureau of Credit Histories (NBCH) – an indicator of the debt burden (personal income tax, monthly payments on all loans to the average monthly income) – the situation is not so bad, the expert adds. PIT increased slightly, but is still at a relatively comfortable level (25% in the first quarter of 2021). “At the same time, the share of interest payments in consumer spending is at a moderate level, showing a decline after the pandemic. As incomes grow and lending slows down, the personal income tax is likely to return to pre-crisis levels, ”Stanislav Murashov expects.

According to Sergei Zubov from the RANEPA Structural Research Laboratory, the high demand for loans is largely due to the rise in prices (in particular, for cars and some types of consumer goods), which is confirmed by an analysis of various segments of retail lending. “Lending to individuals is the most profitable operation of banks. Despite the potentially high risks and regulatory measures, credit institutions will strive to maintain high lending volumes, ”he concludes.

Alexey Shapovalov

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