Lending to the economy saw a considerable year on year slowdown in 2019 as it grew 3.6% against 8.9% in 2018, the Central Bank of Tunisia (BCT) said in a note on economic and monetary developments and medium-term prospects.
This is the result of deceleration in loans to individuals (0.4% in December 2019 compared to 5.5% in 2018) and professionals (4.7% in 2019 against 10. 2% in 2018).
The slowdown in personal loans was seen in consumer credits (1.9% by late 2019 against 10.3% in 2018) and home loans (1.9% by late 2019 compared to 6.5% by the end of 2018) as monetary policy tightening affected the household borrowing capacity. The deceleration in loans to professionals was observed in all areas of activity, particularly industry.
The BCT also said in its note the average liquidity needs of banks stood at 11.8 billion dinars down from 12.2 billion in November 2019 and 16 billion in 2018.
This was driven by ongoing sales of currencies to the BCT (643 MD) and the expansionary effects of a flowback of banknotes (129 MD).
The weighted average rate of main refinancing operations kept steady at 7.75% in December 2019.
The average money market rate stagnated at around 7.81% after standing at 7.80% in November 2019.