Auto loans plunge for twenty-first consecutive month in March

High costs, rising car prices, and escalating inflation diminished consumers’ purchasing power

Auto loans in Pakistan plunged by 24.4% year-on-year to Rs239 billion in March, continuing a downward trend for the twenty-first consecutive month due to tightening consumer financing, according to data released by the State Bank of Pakistan  (SBP). 

On a month-on-month basis, March saw a 1.4% decline in auto loans from Rs243 billion in February. 

Auto borrowing peaked at Rs368 billion in June 2022 and has since declined by Rs129 billion, mainly influenced by high auto finance costs, rising car prices, and escalating inflation which diminished consumer purchasing power.

Analysts predict that the declining trend in auto loans could reverse with potential cuts in interest rates and reduced inflationary pressures, expecting the central bank to lower its benchmark rate this quarter.

According to the Pakistan Automotive Manufacturing Association, car sales in March amounted to 9,379 units, a 3% drop from the previous month and a 1% decrease year-on-year.

The SBP’s report also noted that loans to the private sector totaled Rs8.406 trillion in March, marking a 0.7% increase from the previous year but a 0.2% decline from the prior month, making up 8.4% of the GDP and 75% of total loans.

Consumer financing in March fell by 8.2% to Rs807 billion from Rs879 billion a year earlier. 

Housing finance dropped by 0.67% to Rs207.14 billion month-on-month, and personal loans decreased by 3.63% year-on-year to Rs242.05 billion, with a minimal monthly decrease of 0.03%.

Data on outstanding credit to the private sector showed a slight year-on-year increase of 0.72% to Rs8.41 trillion in March 2024, but a 0.16% month-on-month decline. 

Loans to the manufacturing sector rose 2.26% year-on-year to Rs4.84 trillion, although they fell 0.39% from February. Loans to the construction sector declined by 0.59% year-on-year to Rs194.43 billion and 2.09% month-on-month.

Agricultural sector loans increased by 15.69% year-on-year to Rs392.15 billion but saw a 2% drop month-on-month.

Monitoring Desk
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