New Central Bank figures show that for the first time in over two years the level of private sector deposits is growing on a year-on-year basis.

In July deposits were falling at an annual rate of 0.8%, but in August deposits increased by 0.7% compared to August 2011.

Private sector deposits from outside Ireland grew by €712 million during the month.

Even though banks appear to be slowly repairing their balance sheets, this seems to be happening at the expense of any new lending.

The Central Bank statistics show lending to households fell by half a billion euro last month on top of a €471million drop in July.

Home loans fell by €151 million and other household loans dropped by €72 million.

Repaying debt rather than borrowing money continues to be the order of the day. In the past month alone mortgage repayments outstripped new lending by €71 million. Repayments on other household debt were €224 million higher than the level of new borrowing.

The figures also show the Irish owned banks AIB, Bank of Ireland, EBS, Permanent TSB and IBRC borrowed a total of €101.6 billion from the European Central Bank and the Central Bank of Ireland.

Meanwhile, new figures from the Central Statistics Office show that the volume of retail sales rose for the second month in a row in August.

The volume of retail sales rose by 0.4% in August compared to July, while there was an annual decrease of 0.6%.

The CSO said what when car sales are excluded, the volume of retail sales rose by 0.1% in August from July, while there was an annual increase of 0.4%.

Breaking down the figures, they show that sales in bars rose by 3.2% in August, while sales of hardware, paints and glass increased by 2.1%.

The largest decrease were seen in sales of furniture and lighting (3.5%), clothing and footwear (2.3%) and fuel (2.2%).

Central Bank of Ireland