Business finance in steep plunge


Lending for trucks provides a thin silver lining for cloud over business, ABS figures show

April 16, 2012

Business finance has continued to plummet this year from the high recorded in the third quarter of calendar 2011, the latest monthly figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS)
show.

On the positive side, finance for new light and heavy trucks shows a slight improvement between January and February, in line with a rise in sales after a lean period at the start of the year.

That for heavy trucks rose from $2.2 million to $3.5 million while for light trucks it was up from $16.2 million to $18.4 million.

However, both sets of figures were still way down on peaks seen early last decade.

Seasonally adjusted, general commercial lending dived 8.4 percent in February to $29 billion, accelerating on January’s 1.5 percent dip, with revolving credit plunging 26.6 percent after a modest 0.3 percent rise the previous month.

The January figure was $31.65 billion.

Both figures were well down on the peak last year of around $37 billion.

Against that, lease finance rose 4.1 percent to $498 million.

The otherwise dismal news comes after ANZ Bank lifted its business rate by six basis points on Friday.

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