Personal, commercial finance contracts in February

By Leith van Onselen

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) this morning released the Lending Finance data for February, which registered a sharp fall in the value of personal and commercial financing commitments; although lease financing commitments registered a solid rise:

In seasonally adjusted terms, the value of personal finance commitments fell -3.8% in February and remains below the peak levels reached in 2010:

The value of commercial finance commitments remains in the doldrums, falling a further -8.4% in the month:

Commercial finance commitments in New South Wales and Victoria, in particular, are struggling:

Lease financing commitments are the one bright spot of this release, increasing 4.1% in the month, and appear to be in a bit of an uptrend. However, it too remains fairly low by recent historical standards, and adjusted for population growth:

The housing finance data for the month of February was reported seperately last week (see here). Overall, it appears that the lifeblood of our economy – housing and business finance – is not flowing well at all.

[email protected]

Unconventional Economist


  1. Leith,

    Okay, it looks like it’s game on in earnest now. I think a Top Ten Dumbest Things A Government Could Do In Response list would be timely. And perhaps a Top Ten list of the smartest things they could do.

    I’m actually only half joking. I think it would be a useful contribution to the public discourse and MB is probably the only venue in the media who would tackle this fearlessly.

    So here’s my No. 1 for the dumb list:

    1. Subsidise first home vendors.


    • 2 – Set up a government backed organization to insure high LVR borrowers, like in Canada.

  2. Every single metric is up on the Feb 2011 seasonally adjusted figures. Housing is up 1.8%$File/56710_feb%202011.pdf

    Compared to 2010 all except housing commitments are up against feb 2010, whilst seasonally adjusted housing is down 4.7%$File/56710_feb%202010.pdf

    Down a bit, up a bit.

    • Every single metric is up on the Feb 2011 seasonally adjusted figures

      The reason is …Dec 2011 – end of NSW concessions… +60 days to settle.

    • I followed the link to the announcement. The change in housing finance for OO is -4.8% adjusted.

      “The total value of owner occupied housing commitments excluding alterations and
      additions fell 1.0% in trend terms and the seasonally adjusted series fell 4.8%.”

      What do these tables show? Why is it called total value? Is it total value for the month?

      It’s not the total aggregated value of commitments.

      If it is, how do you explain a jump from 12B to 15B and then back to 13B?


  3. Wasn’t someone castigating me the other day simply for posting a link to an article purporting to show that commercial finanve was weak in March? The February result looks like a good precursor.