Monday, December 13, 2021

Chart of the Day: PWA Index up a smidge, and more fuel for the inflation narrative...

Just performed the weekly scoring of our PWA Macro Index (was out of the office late last week), and, thanks to an uptick in commercial and industrial (C&I) loans, our general conditions barometer rose 4.18 points on the week:

C&I Loans:

Yes, per the latest Senior Loan Officer Survey, banks are easing up on their underwriting standards, and, yes, particularly if the recent C&I loan action is a harbinger of things to come, that (notwithstanding our anticipation of an intermediate-term cooling to come) adds to the present plethora of inflationary pressures:
"Regarding loans to businesses, respondents to the October survey, on balance, reported easier standards and stronger demand for commercial and industrial (C&I) loans to large and middle-market firms over the third quarter. Banks also reported easier standards for C&I loans to small firms, while demand from small firms remained basically unchanged.2 For commercial real estate (CRE), banks reported easier standards for all loan categories. Banks also reported stronger demand for multifamily loans and for loans secured by nonfarm nonresidential properties, while demand for construction and land development loans remained basically unchanged. For loans to households, banks eased standards across most categories of residential real estate (RRE) loans, on net, and reported weaker demand for most types of RRE loans over the third quarter. Banks also eased standards across all three consumer loan categories—credit card loans, auto loans, and other consumer loans—while reports on demand for consumer loans were mixed."

With regard to present pockets of "weaker demand":

The survey included a set of special questions inquiring about the current level of demand relative to pre-pandemic levels (defined as the end of 2019) for C&I and credit card loans, as well as banks’ outlook for demand for such loans over the next six months. On balance, banks reported weaker levels of demand for all queried C&I and credit card loan categories compared with the end of 2019, and that they expect stronger demand for both C&I and credit card loans over the next six months.

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