The rate of lending by Irish banks to households and businesses has fallen on an annual basis for the first time since 2017. This means people and businesses are borrowing less and repaying loans and saving more. 

The latest statistics from the Central Bank show net lending to Irish households fell by €204m in July while mortgages fell by €88m. 

Mortgage lending was still up on last year by €930m or 1.2%, the Central Bank said.

Today's figures also show that consumer lending on an annual basis declined by €591m last month. This is the largest level of repayments over new loans since 2015. 

Deposits, however, keep rolling in. For households, deposits increased by €2 billion in July. On an annual basis, they are up €11.8 billion or 11%. 

The bulk of these deposits are building up in current accounts, the Central Bank noted.

Meanwhile, lending to businesses - which had increased at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, has fallen back. In July, loans to business fell by €510m and are down annually by €1.2 billion.

Deposits by businesses increased by €1.9 billion last month and are up annually by €9.5 billion or 16%, today's figures show.