In the first three months of the year, loans that represent credits with repayment delays of three months almost doubled.
Although this category is not officially considered a bad loan, this hike is a strong warning signal that in the months to come, banks might face another threat from bad loans, which already is in high levels.
These data show that the first trimester had the biggest increase of loans with repayment delays, in levels that banks did not experience even during the global crisis culmination. In this situation, the Albanian Bank is asking the government to strengthen the law of collateral execution.
Some experts of the banking system say that the economy is feeling the prolonged political crisis cost. The first trimester coincides with the culmination of this crisis, January 21st. While the political tension continues to remain high, the situation sends to the general public messages of insecurity, and loan portfolio deterioration is not the first signal that warns it. Official INSTAT data and Bank of Albania confirmed that consumers have spent less in the last two trimesters.
INSTAT said that retail sales in the last trimester of 2010 were 1.2 lower than one year ago. Import of consume goods in the first trimester of the year was 1.4 lower than the same period of 2010.
With increased insecurity, citizens tend to postpone their decisions for making purchases and investments, which causes consume to decrease. These are the first answers to the old debate if political tension has economic consequences or not.