Brazil starts 2017 with drop in consumer credit demand

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

The demand for consumer credit in Brazil fell 1.6% last month compared to the month directly prior, according to a study by credit research firm Serasa Experian.

Compared to the same month last year, there was a 0.5% increase in demand.

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Economists at Serasa said the month-on-month drop was due to high levels of debt and high unemployment still consuming Brazilians, despite the country's recent decline in inflation and accelerated key rate cuts.

Those with the lowest income saw the biggest decrease in credit demand in the m-o-m comparison. Consumers who earned up to 500 reais (US$161.21) per month saw a 2.2% drop in demand, while those with a monthly income between 500 reais and 1,000 reais registered a 1.6% decline.

Brazilians who earned 1,000 reais to 2,000 reais per month saw a 1.4% decrease, those making between 2,000 reais and 5,000 reais registered a drop in demand of 1.5%, and both those in the 5,000 reais to 10,000 reais group and the 10,000 reais and above group saw their demand for credit dip 1.3%.

The decline in credit demand also hit all regions of the country. The south saw the biggest fall, with a 3.9% drop compared to December. In the midwest, the decrease was 2.7%, while the northeast registered a 1.4% decline. The southeast and the north both saw a 0.7% drop in demand for credit.