Business loans take dive in April

Commercial and lease finance dollar values have both taken a dive in April 2009

Commercial and lease finance dollar values have both taken a dive in April 2009, according to the latest ABS figures.

Banking research and advisory firm East & Partners says the latest lending figures show commercial finance commitments dropped by 12.8 percent in just one month, while lease finance commitments fell by 8.4 percent in the month to April.

In dollar terms, the April 2009 figure for commercial finance fell to $27 billion, down from $31 billion, thwarting any signs of a sustained surge in business lending to help out the economy, the firm says.

"From February to March, the same commercial finance figure jumped significantly, rising from $25.3 billion. That February figure was the lowest since August 2005.

"Despite the rise in March, commercial finance has generally been falling since the record high of $50.6 billion recorded in January 2008.

"Lease finance commitments have seen a similar slump, dropping to $422 million, a level not seen since 2000.

"The ABS figures revealed that the significant fall in commercial commitments can primarily be attributed to a fall in fixed loan lending commitments, down 17.9 percent, while revolving credit commitments decreased by just 1.2 percent.

"In the same month-to-April time period, both housing finance and personal finance increased, although only slightly."

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