New Central Bank figures show that demand for loans and mortgages continue to decline, with lending to households falling again in February.

Total lending to Irish households fell back to €106 billion in February. Mortgage loans fell by €340m over the month.

The Central Bank said that household loan repayments exceeded drawdowns by €387m in February after a net monthly decrease of €824m in January.

The latest figures show that on an annual basis, lending to households also continued to fall, declining by 3.8% in February, compared with an annual decline of 4.1% the previous month. 

Loans for house mortgages, which account for 78% of total household loans, declined at an annual rate of 3.1%. Lending for consumption and other purposes declined by 6.3% over the year.

Today's figures also show that there was a decrease of €219m in resident private-sector deposits last month. The bank said this was mainly due to a fall in deposits from insurance corporations and pension funds.