Worldwide outstanding consumer loans can be estimated at €6,383 billion at the end of 2012

For the fifth consecutive year, Crédit Agricole Consumer Finance has published the Consumer Credit Overview, its yearly report on the international consumer finance market. Worldwide outstanding consumer loans can be estimated at €6,383 billion at the end of 2012, representing an increase of 5.9 % compared to year end 2011 (€6 030 Billion).

Worldwide outstanding consumer loans can be estimated at €6,383 billion at the end of 2012. This represents an increase of 5.9% over the year, i.e. more than in 2011.

The market is still characterised by a very predominant weighting of developed countries and North America in particular. But the weighting of developed countries is tending to decline in favour of emerging markets.

Outstanding loans increased only slightly in developed countries.

  • Among these countries, only Canada and the United States saw a significant rise in outstanding loans in 2012 (+2.8 % and +5.8 %  respectively, bringing growth in North America to 5.5 %). 
  • The European Union went through a further period of recession, resulting in a fall in outstanding loans in 2012. Excluding Russia and Turkey, outstanding loans in Europe fell by 1.7 %. 
  • Outstanding loans were down 1.4 % in Australia for regulatory reasons, meaning a fall of 1 % for the Oceania region as a whole.
  • In Japan, the 0.6 % fall in outstanding loans was due to deflation.

Meanwhile, outstanding loans rose sharply in the majority of emerging markets.

  • Economic growth in these countries has been accompanied by more than proportional growth in outstanding loans. A certain level of  development is necessary for the consumer finance market to emerge. Once this threshold has been reached - estimated at €2,500 per  capita - outstanding loans increase at a rapid rate. 
  • Despite an economic slowdown in 2012, growth in outstanding consumer loans has not weakened in emerging markets. In 2012, the strongest growth was in Russia (+43 %), Argentina (+35 %), Thailand and Azerbaijan (+32.%). In some countries, however, growth in outstanding loans is partly due to continuing inflation (Argentina).

Outstanding loans per capita are estimated at €910 at the end of 2012. There are still considerable discrepancies between each continent (€96 in Africa, €5,620 in North America). Growth in outstanding loans in emerging markets is brought down by population growth in these countries. Excluding inflation, 2012 was the first year that outstanding loans per capita increased since 2008.

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