Brazil lending falls as recession bites harder; defaults stabilize
BRASILIA/SAO PAULO, March 29 (Reuters) - Commercial banks in Brazil pared back lending in February for a second straight month, led by declining disbursements by private-sector lenders, according to a central bank report released on Tuesday.
Outstanding loans in the country's banking system totaled 3.184 trillion reais ($867 billion) at the end of February, about 0.5 percent less than the prior month, the report said.
The so-called 90-day default ratio, a benchmark for delinquencies, hit 5.5 percent of outstanding, non-earmarked loans last month, unchanged from January's revised number, the report said. The indicator is the highest since at least the start of 2011, according to Thomson Reuters data.
($1 = 3.6737 Brazilian reais) (Reporting by Marcela Ayres and Guillermo Parra-Bernal; Additional reporting by Camila Moreira in São Paulo)
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