Thursday, October 2, 2014

2/10/2014: That Oil Price Shock: Russia

In a recent Russian Economy briefing ( I highlighted the risk of oil price changes on Russian economy. Here is a chart showing dramatic elevation of these risks:

via @MacrobondF

2/10/2014: IMF Report: Risk Taking Behaviour in Banks

As some of you might have noticed, I started to contribute regularly to Learn Signal Blog last week. This week, my post there covers IMF Global Financial Stability Report update released this week, dealing with the drivers for risk taking behaviour of the banks prior to and since the Global Financial Crisis:

2/10/2014: BRIC Manufacturing PMIs: Things are getting slower...

Yesterday, I covered Manufacturing PMIs for Russia ( so today time to update all BRICs chart:

And from the above, things that were ugly in the merging markets continue to be ugly and get worse.

In September, according to Markit (and all its marketing partners paying for the releases of its data):

  • Manufacturing PMIs posted rather significant slowdown in growth in Russia: from 51.0 in July and August to 50.4 in September. However, on a 3mo MA basis, the index is performing better: 3mo average through September (Q3 average) stood at 50.8 (anaemic, but growth) compared to 3mo average through June (Q2 average) of 48.7 and 3mo average through September 2013 of 49.3. M/M slowdown in growth was 0.6 points, which is the second best performance in the BRIC group and September level of index signals second fastest growth in BRIC group.
  • In China, Manufacturing PMI posted zero change in September (50.2) on August (52.4). 3mo average through Q3 2014 was 50.7, which is better than 3mo average for Q2 2014 (49.1) and 3mo average for Q3 2013 (49.3). With zero change in growth in PMI m/m, China is the best performer in the group, but its level of PMI is only third best.
  • India Manufacturing PMI posted the largest drop in PMIs in September (51.0) on August (52.4) in the group. 3mo average through Q3 2014 was 52.1, which is better than 3mo average for Q2 2014 (51.4) and 3mo average for Q3 2013 (49.4). With PMI falling 1.4 points m/m, India is the worst performer in the group in terms of m/m dynamics, but its level of PMI is still the highest in the group, which is not surprising, given there appears to be a strong upward bias in India PMI readings across data history (see chart).
  • Brazil Manufacturing PMI fell from 50.2 in August to 49.3 in September, switching from growth to contraction - the only country posting contractionary PMI reading in the group. Q3 2014 average reading is at 49.5 which is almost identical to the Q2 2014 reading of 49.4 and to Q3 2013 reading of 49.3. M/m Brazil posted the second worst level of decline in PMI and level-wise it is the worst performer in the group.
Notably, there appears to be little level difference across China and Russia in Q3 2013 Manufacturing activity, despite the fact that Russia is under sanctions pressure relating to Ukraine crisis. Both China and Russia outperformed Brazil, but under-performed India in this sector. Adjusting for Indian data apparent bias upwards, there is also little difference between India and China and Russia.

Summary table of changes and levels:

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

1/10/2014: IMF's out of Ideas, but still full of Analysis: WEO Chapter 4

IMF WEO October update is steadily creeping toward its main denouement, the release of the database update at the very end of the process that normally starts with releases of analytical chapters of the WEO - bigger thematic pieces dealing with the core topics relating to the global economy.

This week, IMF released its Chapter 4, covering the issue of current accounts imbalances across the world.

Per IMF, "Global current account (“flow”) imbalances have narrowed significantly since their peak in 2006, and their configuration has changed markedly in the process. The imbalances that used to be the main concern—the large deficit in the United States and surpluses in China and Japan—have more than halved. But some surpluses, especially those in some European economies and oil exporters, remain large, and those in some advanced commodity exporters and major emerging market economies have since moved to deficit."

You don't need to say. Just see this post from earlier today:

But IMF shows some pretty interesting data on composition and levels of imbalances across the globe. Chart below details these:

The IMF argues that "the reduction of large flow imbalances has diminished systemic risks to the global economy." Sounds happy-all-around.

But as usual, there is a kicker, or rather two:
"First, the nature of the flow adjustment—mostly driven by demand compression in deficit economies or growth differentials related to the faster recovery of emerging market economies and commodity exporters after the Great Recession—has meant that in many economies, narrower external imbalances have come at the cost of increased internal imbalances (high unemployment and large output gaps).

This straight into the teeth of the EU, where 'internal devaluations' (beggar thy own consumers and households) policies are all the rage. But it is also a warning to the emerging markets, where the latest stage of economic growth is translating into falling commodities prices, threatening to unravel their own economic 'recoveries' based on beggar-thy-trading-partners economic environment of elevated commodities prices in the past.

"The contraction in these external imbalances is expected to last as the decrease in output due to lowered demand has likely been matched by a decrease in potential output." Which means a Big Boom! Potential output is the stuff economies supposed to produce once the effects of the business cycle (recession-to-expansion) is netted out. In other words, the stuff that is somewhat long-term 'sustainable'. And the above statement says it is down.

"However, there is some uncertainty about the latter, and there is the risk that flow imbalances will
widen again." Which means 'choose your poison' - either risks are materialising in structural growth slowdown or risk will be materialising in current account imbalances returning once again. Rock. Hard place. The world stuck in-between.

"Second, since flow imbalances have shrunk but not reversed, net creditor and debtor positions (“stock imbalances”) have widened further. In addition, weak growth has contributed to increases in the ratio of net external liabilities to GDP in some debtor economies.These two factors make some of these economies more vulnerable to changes in market sentiment. To mitigate these risks, debtor economies
will ultimately need to improve their current account balances and strengthen growth performance."

And here we have the usual bangers-n-mash dish from the IMF. What it says is that debt overhang is not getting better, but might be getting worse. And with that, the IMF runs out of any solutions other than go back to 'internal devaluations'. Which, of course, gets us back to the first kick in teeth. Bigger rock. And an even harder place. And Euro area is now wedged in-between.

"Stronger external demand and more expenditure switching (from foreign to domestic goods and services) would help on both accounts," says IMF. And this is the statement of surrender. Basically IMF says that if more people were to buy stuff from the countries with weak external balances and loads of debt, things will improve. No sh*t Sherlocks. And if money was growing on trees in Sahara Desert, things would improve even more.

IMF's out of idea. But IMF is still full of analysis. QED.

1/10/2014: That Exports-Led Recovery... in Germany

And a Scary Chart of the Day prize goes to @IanTalley who produced this gem:

That's right, Germany is now officially producing more stuff that its people can't afford than China...

But its a good thing, for it means that people in countries like Italy, Spain, Greece, Portugal, Cyprus etc who owe Germany money can buy more stuff from Germany they can't quite afford either, except for the credit supplied from Germany funded by the credit they take from Germany... Confused? Try for some academic analysis... or just look at KfW bank latest foray into Ireland (apparently it took months of planning to get us to this absurdity

1/10/2014: Russian Manufacturing PMI: September

Markit and HSBC released Manufacturing PMI for September for Russia. Here are the headline numbers:

  • Manufacturing PMI declined from 51.0 (signaling already weak expansion) in August to 50.4 in September. 
  • This marks 8th consecutive month of index falling within the range that is statistically indifferent from 50.0. Over the last 3 months, the index was trending just above 50.0 line (not statistically significant difference to 50.0). 
  • 3mo MA for the index is at 50.8. 3mo MA through June 2014 is at 48.8. 3mo MA through September 2013 was at 49.3. This really does illustrate structural slowdown in the Russian economy setting on at around Q4 2012, well before the onset of Kiev protests in November 2013 and much before the onset of the Ukrainian crisis in February 2014.

Today's reading puts into question the hopes of a nascent recovery we could have expected from PMI readings in August. Recall that in July Russian GDP fell estimated 0.2% and in August it posted zero growth. My most recent update on Russian economic situation (from Monday) is here:

1/10/2014: Irish Manufacturing PMI: September

Irish Manufacturing PMI released by Investec/Markit today signalled de-acceleration of growth in September.

  • Headline Manufacturing PMI declined from 57.3 in August to 55.7 in September. The reading is still ahead of July 55.4 and remains statistically significant above 50.

September correction does not represent a shift in the trend, which remains solidly up:

  • 12mo MA is at 54.7 and September reading is ahead of that. Current 3mo MA is at 56.1 and well ahed of previous 3mo MA of 55.5. 3mo MA through September is solidly ahead of the same period readings in 2010-2013.
Investec release provides some comments on the underlying series sub-trends, but I am not inclined to entertain what is not backed by reported numbers.

On the balance, it appears that Manufacturing sector retain core strengths and that expansion continues. This marks thirteenth consecutive month of PMI readings above 50 (statistically significant) and 16th consecutive month of PMI reading above 50 (notional).

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

30/9/2014: Have Irish Retail Sales 'regained growth momentum' in August?

Yesterday, CSO released latest data on Retail Sales in Ireland for August 2014, prompting some media reports that the data is showing the "retail recovery gaining momentum".

Here is the actual data for core retail sales (ex-motors):

  • Value of retail sales rose 0.1% m/m in August, down from 0.2% growth in July. This implies loss of the momentum in value of sales, not a gain.
  • Volume of retail sales rose 0.29% m/m in August, up on -0.1 loss in July, implying regaining of the momentum m/m in volume of sales.
  • Value of retail sales rose 2.22% y/y in August after posting 1.22% gain in July, implying some improved momentum y/y.
  • Volume of retail sales rose 3.64% y/y in August after posting a rise of 3.21% in July, again implying some improved momentum y/y.
  • 3mo average through August 2014 rose 1.9% for value of sales compared to the same period a year ago and 3.6% for volume of sales. Both rates of growth were lower than those recorded for the 3mo period through May 2014, representing a slowdown in the momentum, not a gain.
All of the above evidence suggests that retail sales are bouncing along the established trend and are not consistent with a claim that there has been sustained gains in retail recovery in August. Charts below illustrate this conclusion:

Chart above shows that Volume of retail sales index is trending along with established long-term trend. A gain in momentum would imply the index pushing steeper up relative to trend. Value of sales index is now running at a flatter upward momentum than long term trend implies. This supports the view that retail sales recovery has lost recovery momentum (but did not lose recovery overall) in Value terms and is running at zero change to the momentum (which is still positive) in Volume terms.

The conclusion above is confirmed by looking at /y/y growth rates in both series: since April 2014 jump in retail sales, both Volume and Value growth rates have fallen. Value growth has continued to trend down after May and Volume growth trended down from June.

Once again, we have positive growth in the series, but the momentum in this growth is either zero or negative, certainly not positive.

Monday, September 29, 2014

29/9/2014: Russian Economy Briefing for IRBA

Earlier today I gave a brief presentation on the topic of the Recent Developments in Russian Economy. Here are my speaking notes:

Economic growth in Russia was running at +0.8% y/y in Q2 2014 versus 0.9% y/y in Q1 2014.

At the same time, GDP shrank 0.2% y/y in July 2014 and 0% y/y in August 2014.

Taken against the consensus forecast for growth at 0.5% for the full year 2014, this suggests geo-political risks-induced slowdown in the economy of some 0.3-0.4% to-date.

Russia's economic outlook for 2014 and 2015-2015 continues to trend down, driven by two core factors:
  1. Geopolitical risks of the Ukrainian conflict, and
  2. Structural weaknesses in the economy.

The first factor is responsible for the expected actual output growth falling below down-trending potential output growth in 2014 and 2015.

The second factor is driving down potential output growth in 2015-2016 and beyond.

How dramatic were the growth forecasts revisions so far?

Take IMF: IMF is about to publish its October World Economic Outlook forecasts revisions.

In October 2013, IMF forecast real GDP growth in Russia to run at 3.0% in 2014, 3.5% in 2015 and 3.5% in 2016. So 3.5% average over 2015-2016.

In April 2014, IMF forecasts were running at 1.33% in 2014, 2.3% in 2015 and 2.5% in 2016, respectively. 2015-2016 average of 2.4% down 1.1 ppt on previous.

We have no forecasts for October, yet, but consider IMF's 'twin' organisation, the World Bank. The WB expect growth of around 0.5% pa on average over 2014-2016, broken down into 0.5% in 2014, 0.3% in 2015 and 0.4% in 2016. Average growth of just 0.35% in 2015-2016 down massive 3.15 ppt on a year ago!

Russian Government official forecasts are for growth of 0.5% in 2014, 1.2% in 2015 and 2% in 2016, so average 2015-2016 growth of 1.6% or 1.25 ppt above World Bank forecasts.

Taken against CIS growth rates, the official sector revisions suggest that about 1/2 of the total downside in growth expectations is down to Ukrainian crisis and the rest are structural.

Based on World Bank forecasts, slowdown in domestic investment and consumption will be the main drag on the structural side of growth.

Private sector analysts forecasts are even worse than those from the IMF and the World Bank. For example, Danske forecast for GDP growth is -0.3% in 2014, -1.9% in 2015 and +0.5% in 2016. These are driven by expected private consumption growth going from 1.2% in 2014 to -2.2% in 2015 and rising to +2.2% in 2016, Fixed investment falling 3.7% in 2014, 3% in 2015 and growing by only 0.3% in 2016.

Morgan Stanley cut its 2014 forecast for Russian economy from +0.8% growth to -1.5% recession earlier this month.

BOFIT forecast estimates growth of 0% in 2014, +0.5% in 2015 and +1.7% in 2016, or an average rate of growth of 1.1% in 2015-2016. These are more in line with official forecasts and are less gloomy than World Bank outlook and Danske outlook. I tend to err on their side, although my expectation is that 2015 growth will be above 0.5% and 2016 will be slightly shy of 1.7%, but the average of 1-1.1% for 2015-2016 looks about right, assuming no major rapid changes to the Ukrainian situation.

All in, there is huge uncertainty as to what we can expect from the Russian economy in 2015-2016.

The slowdown in investment is driven by a number of factors, such as:
  1. Capital outflows and high interest rates (in part related to the Ukrainian crisis, but also linked to stubbornly high inflation and the Central Bank move to free floating ruble). Policy interest rates currently stand at 8% and are expected to rise to 8.5% by the end of 2014-beginning of 2015. Currently, EUR/RUB exchange rate is at 50.22 and 12month forward contracts imply the rate of 53.65, while USD/Ruble rate is at 38.8 currently and 12 months forward markets pricing implies the rate of 41.18. Much of this is down to the expected revaluation of the dollar and the strong euro vis-a-vis majority of the emerging markets currencies. But some is down to expected structural weaknesses in the Russian economy. Weaker ruble implying higher cost of imported capital goods and technology.
  2. Weaknesses in the banking sector (exacerbated by the impact on the banks' access to global funding markets arising from Western sanctions) relate to continued sector consolidations (Central Bank has shut down more banks in 2014 so far than in 2010-2011 combined) and sector deleveraging (with credit supply growth falling dramatically over the last 12 months).
  3. Tight fiscal policy: Russia's draft federal budget approved by the cabinet on September 18, upholds the budget rule adopted in 2012 that says the deficit may not exceed 1% of GDP. Spending composition changed to allow higher allocations to defence and national security, as well as to boost certain sectors of the economy. Much of the spending in the latter will go to building new production or expand existing capacity to substitute for imports, especially in the defence and agriculture sectors. The measures are part of Russia’s new emphasis on economic self-sufficiency. New funding was allocated also to Crimea and the Far East region development, and to large infrastructure projects such as Moscow’s new ring road. Per BOFIT: “The government sees giant state-funded infrastructure projects as a way to revive economic growth”. But big infrastructure investments are not identical in terms of their future productive capacity as business investment in new technology and capital goods. As Brazil example shows, infrastructure uplifts based on public funding are virtually one-shot game when it comes to funding growth.

On the budgetary policy side:
  • The Government refrained from new tax hikes and shelved the proposal for sales-tax. VAT remained unchanged at 18%. This is a major net positive for domestic demand.
  • Another positive on domestic demand side, but presenting new risks on long term macroeconomic sustainability front, the new budget includes decision to raise revenue by transferring federal budget pensions contributions for 2015 into general budget, same as in 2014. Under 2002 pensions reform, Russian pension system moved from pure pay-as-you-go system to partially funded system. Under the 2002 reformed system, a share of pensions contributions collected by the federal authorities went to fund current pensions obligations, while the balance was invested in long-term instruments to help fund future pensions provisions. Since 2014 and now into 2015, the second part of contributions will be diverted to general budget.

As mentioned above, Russia is moving toward a greater degree of economic self-sufficiency in two key areas: defense industry and agriculture. While the former is likely to be a drag on general investment, the latter presents opportunities for Irish exporters and is likely to lead to some economic grains in Russia.

Russian agriculture is in a desperate need of investment. I wrote about this on my blog on September 8th - a post that I shared with you on the IRBA Linkedin page. To summarise my findings, modernisation of Russian agriculture and food sectors will require annual investments in the region of USD10.7-11.7 billion per annum. Agriculture Ministry requested a 50% increase in annual farm subsidies from EUR4.2 billion in 2014 to EUR6.3 billion in 2015.

These investments will have to cover:
  • -       Agricultural production, especially in dairy, fisheries, beef and fruit and vegetables sectors, including staples, like potatoes;
  • Supply Chain Management and Logistics, especially in storage and transportation relating to fruit and vegetables sectors;
  • Food processing sectors, especially relating to dairy and fishing sub-sectors.

Increasing Russia’s agricultural output will take significant time, somewhere across 2-6 years, depending on a sector (

We can expect significant uplift in investment support schemes in beef and poultry sectors, as well as in pork production. So far, draft 2015 Budget provides only 20% of the funds requested for this purpose. The hope is that the bumper crop of cereals this year is going to provide off-setting breathing space for investment: Russia expects grains harvest in 2014 to hit 104-106 million tons, just shy of the all-time record of 108 million tons achieved in 2008 and well above the 84 million tons average for the last 10 years.

Overall, most acute risks to the Russian economy are geopolitical, with sanctions escalation on September 12-18th resulting in more severe pressures on the banks for funding, as well as increased pressure on oil producers. So far, the sanctions war has been escalating despite the ceasefire in Ukraine holding and this suggests that we cannot expect lifting of the sanctions before the end of 2014 even under the most optimistic scenarios.

Credit supply from euro and dollar funding has fallen to zero for all Russian companies in July 2014.

The second immediate risk is that of declines in oil prices. Russian economy is more sensitive to changes in oil prices than to gas prices and the fact that oil is currently down some 16% on its June 2014 highs and is trading closer to USD95-96/bbl presents a major threat to the economy. Should oil prices fall below USD90/bbl, federal budget will require major tightening to keep the Government within targeted 1% deficit rule.

The third risk is to the investment side from the monetary policy: stubbornly rising and high CPI - currently running at around 7.9% against CBR and Government targets of 5.5-6%, and devaluation of the ruble, plus rapid outflows of capital from Russia - all are implying future potential tightening of interest rates policy. This, if it were to pass, will push even further down the already poor investment performance.

On the positive side, even with sanctions tightening, we are seeing some recovery in producer and consumer confidence, as signaled by PMIs and consumer surveys. But the recovery is fragile and uncertain in terms of future prospects. We need to see confirmation of the stronger PMIs trend in September figures, due to be released this week.

If we are to look at the demand side for exporters into Russian markets, things are tough. Russian imports have already fallen in 2014, driven by depreciation of the ruble more than by anything else. Imports declines contributed +6.5% to Russian GDP growth in 2009, but rebounded relatively strongly in 2010 and 2011, erasing the 2009 contraction. Imports shrinkage is likely to contribute some 1% to GDP growth in 2014, 0% to 2015 growth and -0.3% in 2015, so expected rebound to the current imports drop is likely to be less swift and longer-drawn out.

Surprisingly, imports slowdown and sanctions did not hurt, to-date, bilateral trade in goods between Russia and Ireland. In the first seven months of 2014, compared to the same period of 2013, Irish exports to Russia rose from EUR397 million to EUR509 million - an uplift of 28% y/y. Our trade balance in goods with Russia improved from a surplus of EUR301 million in January-July 2013 to a surplus of EUR353 million in January-July 2014. If in 2013 exports to Russia accounted for 3.67% of our goods exports ex-EU and USA, in 2014 so far it is accounting for 4.31% of our goods exports ex-EU and USA.

Keep in mind: in national accounts, net trade (trade balance) is what counts as additive to national income and GDP. In these terms, for the first 7 months of 2014, our surplus vis-a-vis Russia (at EUR353 million) is much more to our GDP and GNP than our trade deficit with China of EUR478 million.

While we do not have detailed breakdown of July trade flows, comparing H1 2014 against H1 2013, noticeable increases in Irish exports to Russia were recorded in:
  • Coffee, tea, cocoa, spices and manufactures thereof
  • Miscellaneous edible products and preparations
  • Essential oils; perfume materials; toilet and cleansing preps
  • Chemical materials and products nes
  • Photographic apparatus; optical goods; watches and clocks
  • Miscellaneous manufactured articles 

Noticeable decreases were recorded in:
  • Live animals
  • Meat and meat preparations
  • Metalliferous ores and metal scrap
  • Organic chemicals
  • Medical and pharmaceutical products
  • Office machines and automatic data processing machines

Opportunity space for Irish exporters in Russia remains wide open in areas not impacted by sanctions, e.g. outside immediate supply of some food and agricultural products. And new opportunities should open up in the areas relating to agricultural production, food processing, storage and transportation. In addition, there is renewed scope for investment in Russia in the above areas and in areas relating to technological innovation and modernisation in a wide range of sectors.

However, to facilitate this, it would be positive if Russian authorities were to accelerate policy efforts directed at attracting foreign investors into the country, especially in areas linked to investor protection and regulatory and tax facilitation. There is also a need for assuring investors that ruble valuations are going to become less erratic and the global rates divergence is not going to precipitate dramatic further drops in currency values. Key here is Euro/Ruble pair, rather than Dollar/Ruble one. Access to trade finance and insurance are also a major bottleneck.

While over the next 1-2 years we can expect more uncertainty and risks to materialise, including the risk of significant further devaluation of the ruble valuation, taking a longer-term horizon of 5-10 years, these factors are likely to be replaced by more positive growth momentum and improved returns on foreign investment.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

28/9/2014: Political Risks and MENA Equities Valuations

A quick and accessible writeup on our (still work-in-progress) paper on "Political Risks and Financial Markets: MENA perspective" that uses data from Euromoney Country Risk surveys:

28/9/2014: Euro area banks deposits: no sign of significant improvements

Courtesy of @cigolo - a nice chart summing up trends in deposits in Euro area banks from 2009 through Q2 2014:

Italy and Slovenia are two countries that managed to raise the deposit levels in their banking system from Q1 2009. Portugal suffered a decline in deposits off the peak, but stayed above 2009 levels. In every other country sampled, deposits fell from 2009 levels. Note: Ireland too suffered a decline in deposits and in fact, once we control for the reclassifications in deposits, the decline has been more dramatic than the one depicted in the chart (see details here:

Since the Cypriot bailout, and the introduction of bail-in clause for depositors, Euro area banks deposits stayed basically flat in Italy (with slight decline in trend) and Greece, rose in Slovenia, posted a shallow increase in Portugal, declined in Ireland and Spain, collapsed further in Cyprus. While there was no immediately obvious common trend, deposits pre-Cypriot bailout trend was disrupted or failed to improve in Italy, Slovenia, Cyprus, Portugal, Ireland, Spain and Greece despite numerous efforts to shore up the fallout from the bail-ins under the new systems set up for the European Banking Union.

So much for reformed banking sectors, then. Remember that funding in European banks should be shifting toward more reliance on 'organic' sources, e.g. deposits, than on interbank lending. We are yet to see this happening on any appreciable scale across the 'peripheral' economies.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

27/9/2014: Growth... just not in Irish deposits...

Here's an interesting question: when economy grows, what happens with the household deposits? The right answer is: it depends on a couple of factors:

  1. How long has economy been growing: if we have growth over a month or two, one can safely assume that households are using up cash to cover their short term debts accumulated over the course of the downturn. Indeed, Irish debts have been shrinking, not growing over the downturn - on aggregate - and growth has been ongoing for a long time now, at least in official accounts.
  2. What type of growth we are seeing: if economy grows outside the household sector, e.g. via corporate profits that do not 'trickle down' into the real economy in higher wages, etc, then deposits will not follow growth, although this effect too should be short-lived.
So what happened so far with irish households? Here's a chart:

Since Q1 2011, when the current Government came to office and promptly declared yet another economic turnaround miracle, Irish household deposits are down EUR2.08 billion or 2.23%. Worse, household deposits have been running at a flat trend since mid-2011. 

Total private sector (excluding financial firms) deposits are currently only EUR1.289 billion ahead of Q1 2011 average - a miserly increase of just 1.13%. Given Irish firms and households are still pretty much abstaining from investing in the economy, this shows the current recovery to be almost entirely concentrated in the sectors that ship profits out of Ireland with the balance of domestic growth being fully consumed by the debt servicing and repayments. 

Ah, and do note that any talk about 'rising deposits' in Irish banks that we occasionally hear from our politicians is down to one thing: inclusion of the credit unions' deposits into Central Bank statistics. As shown above, absent that, deposits still remain near crisis-period lows: household deposits today are only 1.1% above their crisis period lows, while non-financial corporates deposits are 1.22% above their crisis period lows. And as of July 2014, Irish household deposits fell in 3 months in a row. Just as growth 'accelerated'.