Chart of the Day
Posted at 11:45 a.m. on Feb. 20
– The Wall Street Journal charts the resurgence of bank lending in the US, a potential harbinger of a more robust economic recovery, but also raising new concerns for lenders.
“So-called commercial and industrial loans were up 4.4% in the fourth quarter and 16% for all of 2012… The push comes at a time when many banks have been flooded with deposits as slow economic growth and low interest rates crimp investment.”
“Yet the profitability of the loans that banks are making is under pressure. More than half of banks surveyed in the quarterly Federal Reserve survey of loan officers said that lending spreads…had narrowed in the past three months. The survey said standards on loans to medium and large firms eased for the fourth quarter in a row.”