The monthly figures show a decline of 4.1% in loans outstanding to Irish households over the 12 months to the end of March.
The amount of money repayed by Irish households over the first quarter of the year was €1.5 billion greater than the amount of new borrowing.
Irish resident “private sector deposits” as defined by the Central Bank meanwhile, were up 9.8% over the same period. In February the rate at which deposits were rising was 2.9%.
“As we have pointed out on numerous occasions recently, the lack of available credit will severely hamper the overall recovery prospects for the economy as a whole, and keep the unemployment rate higher than it would otherwise be,” he said.