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Brazil lending volume falls, NPLs improve

Lending volumes in Brazil fell by their sharpest level in a decade at the end of 2016, though nonperforming loans also declined for their second-straight month, according to data released by Banco Central do Brasil on Jan. 26.

The volume of credit operations in the country totaled 3.107 trillion Brazilian reais in December 2016, which, while up 10 basis points from November, marked a 3.5% decline from year-ago levels. The result was the worst since the central bank started tracking the metric in March 2007, according to a report from DCI. The credit-to-GDP ratio fell to 49.3% by December 2016 from 53.7% a year earlier.

However, the central bank said that nonperforming loans over 90 days past due dropped 10 basis points to 5.7% of non-earmarked loans in December, adding to a 10-basis-point drop a month earlier. Delinquency rates for all loans in December 2016 came to 3.7% in December, down 10 basis points from the previous month but up 70 basis points from a year ago.

As of Jan. 25, US$1 was equivalent to 3.17 Brazilian reais.