As banks saw increased competition for commercial & industrial lending, credit standards began to ease in the second quarter, according to the Federal Reserve. Of the senior loan officers surveyed in July, 12.5% indicated a relative easing of credit on large and middle-market borrowers (revenues in excess of $50 million), and 14.5% indicated a relative easing of credit for smaller firms, the first time credit standards have eased for small firms since 2006.
Wall Street Journal article by Tom Barkley. Declaring small businesses as “central” to tackling unemployment, the Fed chief said not enough is being done to ensure that financially sound companies can obtain loans.
Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, speaking this morning at an event in Chicago, said “Although bank credit remains tight, I see some reasons for optimism. The economy is recovering, and banks’ senior loan officers expect a “modest reduction in their troubled loans” over the next year, outside of commercial real estate.”
According to an index of economic activity generated by The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, All six New England states posted economic growth for the three months ended March 31, 2010. Massachusetts and New Hampshire were among just four states with growth in excess of 1.0% for the period.