Working Paper No. 515
By Venetia Bell and Alice Pugh
This paper contains the first detailed empirical examination of the information content of the Bank of England Credit Conditions Survey (CCS). The CCS asks a wide selection of questions of UK lenders relating to all aspects of bank credit provision. We examine the association between the survey responses and comparable official quantitative rates and lending growth data, and the extent to which the survey responses can help us to predict changes in those variables one quarter ahead. We find that many of the survey responses — especially those for household lending — are significantly associated with movements in the quantitative data. Similarly to the findings of equivalent surveys in the United States and euro area, we find that a subset of banks’ survey expectations of credit conditions provide a statistically significant guide for predicting changes in credit spreads and lending growth one quarter ahead.