The new fiscal year began on a sour note for bank credit growth, which slipped to 4.32 per cent in the fortnight to April 28, much lower than the 63-year low level of 5.08 per cent in fiscal 2017, the latest RBI data showed. In the reporting fortnight, credit grew at an anaemic 4.32 per cent to Rs 75.45 trillion as against the Rs 72.32 trillion in the same period. For the fiscal ending March 2017, credit growth had plunged to a multi decadal low of 5.08 per cent with an outstanding loans at Rs 78.81 trillion as against Rs 75.01 trillion on Arpil 1, 2016.
The lowest recorded credit growth was in fiscal 1953-54 when it grew at a pale 1.7 per cent. However, loan growth had marginally risen to 5.52 per cent in the fortnight to April 14 to Rs 76.31 trillion. Even then the cumulative growth for the first month of the new fiscal year is only 5.3 per cent. Low credit growth is due to high bad debt and weak corporate demand, and also due to increasing use of debt from corporate bond markets, where rate of interest is much cheaper than what banks are offering.
In the reporting fortnight, bank deposits growth also slowed to 10.33 per cent to Rs 105.09 trillion compared to Rs 95.25 trillion in the fortnight ended April 29, 2016. In the previous fortnight, bank deposits had grown by 11.59 per cent to Rs 105.91 trillion. Banks have seen a rise in deposits due to large flow of funds into the banking system after the note-ban last November.