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Share of past-due US commercial and industrial loans rises

[WASHINGTON] US businesses fell behind on more loans for commercial and industrial ventures during the fourth quarter, a sign the global economic slowdown is dragging more heavily on America's economy.

The share of commercial and industrial (C&I) loans that were at least 90 days past due or in nonaccrual status rose to 0.78 per cent in the October-December period from 0.69 per cent a quarter earlier, its fourth straight quarterly rise, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation said on Tuesday.

US households so far appear on a better footing, which reduces the risk of an imminent recession. The noncurrent loan rate for nonfarm residential properties fell to 0.86 per cent from 0.96 per cent.

The noncurrent rate for credit card loans edged higher to 1.15 per cent from 1.07 per cent, its second straight quarterly increase.

The global economic slowdown, which has pushed down the price of oil and helped lift the value of the dollar, is hitting America's energy and manufacturing sectors.

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Federal Reserve policymakers have said America's consumer-driven economy will likely weather the downturn without falling into recession, but say they are closely watching volatile financial markets that are tightening lending conditions in America.

Fed Chair Janet Yellen flagged to lawmakers on Feb 10 a survey of bankers that showed tightening credit standards for C&I loans as an example of tighter global financial conditions.


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