Bank Lending May Be Coming Out Of Its Slumber

Don't look now, but lending activity by commercial banks is finally on the upswing. Economist Alan Levenson of UBS Securities Inc. points out that the latest monthly tally indicates that commercial and industrial loans posted a 0.4% advance in January, their largest gain since October, 1989. And a 0.7% rise in personal loans pushed such lending to its highest level since April, 1989. The January pickup in bank lending, he says, "should allay some of the fears aroused by the recent weakness in popular measures of the money supply."

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