Charting The Trend | Real Estate and Commercial & Industrial Loans

Last week’s Federal Reserve update on loans at commercial banks in the U.S. reports the fourth straight monthly rise in C&I loans in February. The relative size of the increases continues to slip, however, increasing by $2.3 billion, well down from January’s $5.3 billion advance. Meantime, real estate loans continue to retreat in absolute terms. Last month’s decline accelerated, posting the biggest monthly drop in a year in seasonally adjusted dollar terms.

Reviewing the numbers in context with a longer span of history suggests that C&I loans are stabilizing. Real estate loans, by contrast, continue to weaken.

Measured on a rolling 12-month percentage basis, the rebound in the C&I trend looks more pronounced. There’s also a hint that real estate loans may finally be stabilizing as well when tracked by their annual percentage change.

Update: The first paragraph was rewritten for clarity as the original text was misleading.