Byline: Harry Terris
Preliminary data suggests bank lending surged in the fourth quarter, notwithstanding the perpetual train-wreck in Washington.
Commercial and industrial loan growth rebounded from two quarters of fading momentum to an annual rate of 15.5%, according to weekly reports published by the Federal Reserve. Total loans increased at a 5.2% pace, the fastest since the first quarter, and total assets jumped at an 11.1% rate. (The following graphic shows volume data for major balance sheet categories; interactive controls are described in the captions. Text continues below.)
The apparent spike in business lending comes as banks have been reporting …