Bank Credit Grew Again In February.
Bank lending to businesses, real estate, and consumers grew 0.3% in February, slightly decelerating from January's monthly 0.5% gain. The increase from one year ago slowed somewhat to 11.7%, down from the 12.0% annual gain in the prior month. It's too early to gauge the fallout in bank lending from the recent financial turmoil and bank failures. Yet, before this, bank credit was still growing, indicating monetary policy tightening was not having its intended effect, supporting the view that higher official rates were necessary.