The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
This paper explores the contribution of credit growth and the composition of credit portfolio (corporate, consumer, and housing credit) to economic growth in emerging market economies (EMs). Using cross-country panel regressions, we find significant impact of credit growth on real GDP growth, with the magnitude and transmission channel of the impact of credit on real activity depending on the specific type of credit. In particular, the results show that corporate credit shocks influence GDP growth mainly through investment, while consumer credit shocks are associated with private consumption. In addition, taking Brazil as a case study, we use a time series model to examine the role that the expansion and composition of credit played in driving real GDP growth in the past. The results of the case study are consistent with those found in the cross-country panel regressions.