Was There a Credit Crunch in Namibia Between 1996-2000?
Commercial bank credit is a useful tool for promoting economic growth especially at the early stages of development. It has been observed that between 1996 and the early part of 2000, the growth rate of real credit to the private sector declined significantly in Namibia. This period coincided with observed strong demand for commercial bank loans. There has therefore been public discourse on the possibility of a restriction in the supply of credit by commercial banks and hence the occurrence of a credit crunch in the economy since commercial bank lending capacity did not fall. This paper attempts to provide some evidence in this regard by examining the main determinants of commercial bank credit in the economy and ascertaining if credit has been demand or supply constrained. This has been done through a survey of disaggregated data in the banking industry and an estimation of a switching regression model to identify regimes of excess supply and demand. Although it is difficult to determine in the face of obvious demand factors the extent to which the credit slowdown can be attributed to credit supply factors, our results show that supply factors did play a major role.
Volume (Year): 6 (2003)
Issue (Month): (November)
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