January 20, 2020

Commercial and industrial loans, which are more commonly called “business loans”  declined 4.7% in December which is the third decline in the past four months  (the light green bars on the left scale).   The year-over-year growth rate has expanded at a 2.2% pace  (green line on the right scale). The dropoff in bank lending is probably to firms in the manufacturing sector which have been hit hard by the tariffs.  However, with the trade deal between the U.S. and China now having been signed, it is likely that lending activity in this category will pick up in the months ahead.

Faster rate of growth in consumer and mortgage lending, total loan growth has picked up to a  4.4% pace in the past year.  That is respectable growth without being excessive.

Stephen Slifer


Charleston, SC