Daily Archives: Mar 10, 2014 at 11:19 am EST

Has Commercial Bank Lending Peaked?

One of the concerns that inflation hawks continue to discuss is the potential for trouble when banks start lending out all that liquidity that’s sitting on their balance sheets. At that point, we’re told, inflation will return with a vengeance and the Fed’s great monetary stimulus will become a burden. But inflation remains subdued, with consumer prices rising less than 2% lately, or near the lowest levels in modern history. But some analysts say that if the economic growth picks up this year, the inflation threat will finally start to bite. By some accounts, one of the warning signs that this tipping point is here will be rising levels of commercial loans. Actually, bank lending to businesses has already revived in a meaningful degree. But it looks like the trend has peaked. That throws cold water on the idea that inflation is about to roar skyward. A decelerating rate of commercial lending also raises questions about the health of the economy.
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