Based on the analysis of the reference indicators the Bank of Italy has decided to keep the countercyclical capital buffer rate at zero for the second quarter of 2017. Specifically:
- In the fourth quarter of 2016 the deviation of the bank-credit-to-GDP ratio from its long-term trend (the credit-to-GDP gap), calculated using the standard methodology set by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, was about -10 percentage points, widening with respect to the previous quarter. According to the methodology developed by the Bank of Italy, which takes into account the specific features of Italy’s credit cycle, the gap was about -7 points. Similar findings emerged from the analysis of the total-credit-to-GDP gap for the third quarter of 2016 (the last quarter for which data are available).
- The Italian economy’s macro-financial conditions remain generally weak. The unemployment rate is at a historically high level. Growth in bank credit to the private sector is slightly positive but the rate of growth of business lending continues to be close to zero. Though declining, the stock of non-performing loans (gross of provisions) in proportion to the total remains high. Real property prices have stabilized but are still well below their long-term level.