Quo Vadis Credit Growth in the MENA Region?

This blog examines the recent credit slowdown among Middle Eastern and North African (MENA) countries from three analytical angles. First, it finds that, similar to other regions and to its past history, a credit boom preceded the current slowdown, and that a protracted period of sluggish growth is likely going forward. Second, it uncovers a key role played by bank funding (deposit growth and external borrowing slowed considerably) but whose effect was frequently dampened by expansionary monetary policy. Third, bank-level fundamentals—capitalization and loan quality—helped to explain differences in credit growth across banks and countries. The blog concludes on what policy measures can be taken to revive credit growth in the MENA region.