Australian business lending rose in October

Peter Terlato 13 December 2016

Coins lending money

Back-to-back months of increased lending commitments.

The value of Australian commercial finance commitments rose in October, as did revolving credit.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) released its latest lending finance data for October, reporting a 1.7% month-on-month increase in total commercial finance commitments.

September's results were the first positive figures of 2016, following nine consecutive months of falls.

Prior to this, commitments had not risen since November 2015, as can be seen in the infographic below.

Revolving credit commitments also jumped up in October, 0.4% higher month-on-month.

Revolving loan facilities allow businesses to borrow money as needed to fund working capital needs and maintain operations. Drawing against the loan brings down the available balance, whereas making payments on the debt brings up the available balance.

Fixed lending commitments in October were also slightly higher, up 2% month-on-month.

The value of housing finance for owner occupation fell (0.5%) in October, as did personal finance (-1.2%), while lease finance rose slightly (0.1%).

In its latest Financial Stability Review, the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) declares growth in domestic loan books has slowed over the past six months, reflecting a tightening of standards in some areas.

"For example, banks have reduced their business lending to some industries where loan performance has recently deteriorated, such as mining. The major banks have also pulled back somewhat on their commercial property lending recently," according to the review.

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