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THRIFTY Irish households continue to hoard their spare cash and seek fewer bank loans, new figures indicate today.

The Central Bank statistics show that lending to households dropped by €632m during April, "following a net monthly flow of €167m in March".

"Developments in April were largely driven by a decrease in loans for consumption purposes of €394m," the Bank said.

"Loans for house purchase and other purposes also decreased by €188m and €51m respectively," it added.

Lending to the non-financial corporate (NFC) sector declined by 1.8pc in the year ending April, following an annual drop of 2.2pc in March, 2012.

Loans to NFCs went down by €326m during April, following an increase of €153m in March, the Central Bank statistics show.

The figures also show that there was a month-on-month increase of almost €4bn in Irish resident private sector deposits during April.

"This largely reflected developments in deposits from the OFI (Other non-bank Financial Intermediaries) sector, which rose by almost €3.4bn during the month."

"The covered institutions accounted for the majority of this increase," it said.

NFC deposits also increased by €291m, while household deposits decreased by €104m, the Central Bank said.

The figures also indicated major changes in deposits in Irish financial institutions as the euro crisis continues.