Banks increase lending for third straight week


The numbers: Total bank lending rose by $4.6 billion to $12.1 trillion in the week ending May 31, the Federal Reserve said Friday. This is the third straight week of gains.

Total bank deposits rose $46 billion last week to $17.3 trillion. Deposits had recently fallen to the lowest level in almost two years.

Key details: Commercial and industrial loans — a key economic driver — rose $600 million to $2.8 trillion.

All figures are seasonally adjusted.

Big picture: Ever since the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank in mid-March, economists have been watching closely to see if lending standards and financial conditions tighten too much and suffocate economic expansion. While there is little evidence to merit concern so far, some think the process will take months and will become more evident by the end of the year.

What are they saying? “Recent tightening in commercial and industrial loan standards is consistent with near-zero annualized growth in real [gross domestic product] in the second and third quarter,” said Carl Riccadonna, chief economist for the U.S. at BNP Paribas.

Market reaction: The Dow Jones Industrial Average

closed up 0.3% for the week to end at 33,877. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note

rose 5.3 basis points this week to 3.744%.


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