5601.0 - Lending to households and businesses, Australia, Feb 2019 Quality Declaration 
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 09/04/2019   
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MEDIA RELEASE

9 April 2019Embargoed: 11:30 am (Canberra time)
Lending to households rises 2.6 per cent

The value of new lending commitments to households rose 2.6 per cent in February 2019, seasonally adjusted, according to the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) figures on new lending to households and businesses.

The rise in lending to households in February follows a 2.3 per cent fall in January 2019.

ABS Chief Economist, Bruce Hockman said: "Despite the rise in February, the longer term story is largely unchanged with new lending to households remaining subdued and well down on levels seen over the past five years.

"Lending for owner occupier dwellings in New South Wales is a good example of this broader story, with the series still down over 20 per cent from the peak of lending in August 2017, even after recording an 8.2 per cent monthly rise in lending commitments in February," he said.

At the national level, the value of lending for owner occupier dwellings rose 3.4 per cent in February, while lending for investment dwellings recorded a more modest rise of 0.9 per cent.

The number of loans to owner occupier first home buyers rose 1.8 per cent, slightly outpacing the rise in the number of loans to owner occupier non-first home buyers (up 1.6 per cent). Both series though remain well below February 2018.

Lending to households for personal finance rose 0.4 per cent in February after a 1.2 per cent rise in January. While this is the first back-to-back increase in lending for personal finance since late 2017, the components of this lending generally linked to household consumption remained relatively weak.

In trend terms, the value of new lending commitments to businesses fell 2.4 per cent in February with weakness across most business lending categories.

More information is available in Lending to Households and Businesses, Australia (cat no. 5601.0).

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