Irish households continued to pay down debt and save money in July, according to figures from the Central Bank.
The figures indicate that loan repayments exceeded drawdowns by €346 million in the month.
It was largely driven by declines in loans for house purchase.
Total loans to households were down by nearly 3% in the year to July.
Loans for house purchase, which accounted for 83% of total loans, were down by 2.6%.
In the year to July, repayments on home loans exceeded drawdowns by €2.1 billion.
Household deposits increased by €673 million in July, despite interest rates being at all time lows.
For the 12 months to the end of July, household deposits increased by €2.1 billion.
“The most recent data from the Banking & Payments Federation Ireland showed that mortgage approvals are on the rise but the stricter lending rules from the Central Bank as regards house purchases will likely have a negative impact on borrowing,” Alan McQuaid, chief economist with Merrion said.
“And even with a strong pick-up in economic activity, overall bank lending is forecast to remain fairly subdued in 2015, and still well below what Ireland needs for sustainable growth in the long-run,” he concluded.