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Crescenzi: Biz Loans Up but Growth Rate Slower

Monday, 28 Jul 2008 | 12:23 PM ET

Much attention has been paid recently on the impact that the credit crisis might have on businesses, with most concluding that

business loans will more difficult to obtain

. There is already plenty of evidence in this regard. Recent data indicate that business lending has in fact slowed, although probably not as much as feared and certainly not nearly as much as in the credit crunch of the early 1990s.

New data released late Friday by the Federal Reserve indicate that commercial & industrial loans increased $4.4 billion to $1.512, the fifth gain in six weeks and only fractionally away from the record high set four weeks ago.

The growth rate for the past three months was 6.2%, which compares favorably with the past two recessions. For example, from March 2001 (the start date of the last recession) until April 2004, commercial & industrial loans fell at a 6.5% annual rate. From July 1990 (the start date of the recession of 1990-1991) until December 1993, commercial & industrial loans fell at a 2.7% annual rate.

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Tony Crescenzi
Tony Crescenzi

Tony Crescenzi is the Chief Bond Market Strategist at Miller Tabak + Co., LLC where he advises many of the nation's top institutional investors on issues related to the bond market, the economy and other macro-related issues. Crescenzi makes regular appearances on financial television stations such as CNBC and Bloomberg, and is frequently quoted across the news media. He is also the co-author of the just-revised "The Money Market" and "The Strategic Bond Investor."

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