Productivity and lending in the pandemic period
The availability of credits for companies with high productivity is an important factor for the economic recovery after the shock. In this note, we analyzed changes in banks’ lending to Russian companies’ in the first eight months of the 2020. Our analysis shows that in January-August 2020 the volume of new ruble credits increased relative to the level of the previous year. At the same time, there were changes in loans’ structure, which are explained by the effect of government lending support programs that began in May-June 2020. This fact indicates that a large number of firms made use of these programs this year, partially or fully covering temporary liquidity needs in the period of significant decrease in demand and revenue. Outside of the government support programs, the structure of market lending did not change significantly in 2020 compared to 2019. Banks prefer to lend to more productive companies: we see that the volume of credits to high productive firms was at the same level as in 2019. This means that efficient firms that should be drivers of economic recovery do not have problems with access to credit in 2020.