An increase in consumer borrowing is good news for the economy, but perhaps unsustainable if business lending and growth does not begin to increase as well.
San Francisco, CA (PRWEB) November 26, 2012
The latest senior loan survey from the Federal Reserve shows that U.S. banks are reporting strong demand for consumer loans during the third quarter of 2012. Auto loan, home loan, and credit card demand were all higher. On a more sober note, the banks are also reporting stagnant demand from small businesses for loans.
The Federal Reserve statement was based on its quarterly survey of senior bank loan officers. Loan demand was reported to be up sharply in the consumer sector, especially for home loans, when compared with demand in the second quarter of 2012.
While the report is a positive for the consumer sector, businesses are not mirroring the renewed demand for loans. Over half the banks surveyed said that business demand for loans has remained the same, while 26 percent said demand is lower. Just 20 percent of those surveyed have said that demand is increasing.
Lending standards are providing no help to either the consumer of the business sector, with 89 percent of the banks surveyed saying that lending standards have remained the same for business loans, and 92 percent stating lending terms have remained the same for consumers.
Even though lending standards for consumers remain tight, nearly 40 percent of the banks surveyed said that demand for home loans was moderately to substantially stronger in the third quarter. Banks are also seeing an increase in the demand for auto loans and credit cards.
The survey also questioned banks about the success of the Home Affordable Refinance Program in spurring homeowners to refinance their mortgages. Nearly 65 percent of those surveyed said that over 60 percent of the refinancing applications under this Obama administration refinancing program will be completed.
An increase in consumer borrowing is good news for the economy, but perhaps unsustainable if business lending and growth does not begin to increase as well. With small businesses employing over 50 percent of the U.S. work force, business growth and job creation is necessary for overall economic growth.
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