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Further decline in new lending business despite corporate investments increasing slightly

Frankfurt (ots)

   - Drop in banks' new business with enterprises and self-employed 
     professionals has slowed down
   - Corporate investments have seen a slight increase again for the 
     first time in five quarters; KfW is expecting a 5% increase for 
   - New lending business is expected to grow in the second half of 

Corporate investment activity in Germany is finally picking up speed again, but this is not yet being reflected in growing demand for credit. This is the key finding of the current KfW Credit Market Outlook.

During the fourth quarter of 2013, corporate investments recorded slight growth for the first time in five quarters according to KfW estimates. This may well have been driven by commercial construction, which recorded increasing investments over the unusually mild winter. KfW is expecting corporate investments to grow by 5% for 2014 as a whole.

However, banks' and savings banks' new lending business with enterprises will be largely unaffected by this during the first quarter of 2014, shrinking by a further 1.9%. But the pace of the decline has slowed down. In the fourth quarter of 2013 new lending still fell by 3.6%.

"Growth in the new lending business has bottomed out," remarked Dr Jörg Zeuner, Chief Economist of the KfW Group. "We are finally seeing a reversal in the trend for corporate investments too, which saw a slight increase in the closing quarter of 2013 for the first time in more than a year." Dr Zeuner is of the opinion that the increase in investment activity is still too cautious for it to be reflected in much greater demand for credit. He believes that investors are still largely investing using their own funds. "But the 2% economic upturn we expect this year should prompt a considerable increase in enterprises' capacity utilisation by the end of the year. Investors will then need to make bigger investments that will have to be financed more by means of loans. I expect that banks' and savings banks' new lending business will increase again during the second half of the year," added Dr Zeuner, before going on to explain that there are, however, still downside risks for the credit market. These mainly relate to the threat of economic downturns in Germany and the euro zone. At the present time, these downturns are most likely to stem from some emerging markets, especially Russia.

KfW calculates its Credit Market Outlook exclusively for the Handelsblatt. You can find the latest issue of the indicator at

The main results of the current KfW credit market outlook summarizes KfW Chief Economist Dr. Jörg Zeuner together in a video quote ( German.


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