Banks in the US increased their lending to corporations by the most in almost three years last month, a sign of optimism as evidence mounts that the economic recovery is teetering.
Commercial and industrial loans climbed to $1.29 trillion (Dh4.74 trillion) for the week ended August 24, bringing the gain for August to 1.49 per cent, the biggest jump since October 2008, according to Federal Reserve data. Loans outstanding, which have climbed for seven straight weeks, the longest streak since March 2008, are up from this year's low of $1.23 trillion on January 26.
US banks say they are easing lending standards as Wall Street firms forecast profits in the Standard and Poor's 500 index will increase 19 per cent for all of 2011 and 12 per cent in 2012.
Net income is growing even as economists surveyed by Bloomberg lower their growth estimates to 1.75 per cent for this year, down from an average 2.9 per cent in April.