The Federal Reserve’s latest survey of loan officers showed a net 23% of banks eased lending standards early this year, the most since 2005 and up sharply from a net 7.7% at the end of 2012.
The improvement was also steeper than the one seen for middle-market and large firms, defined as those with annual sales of $50 million or more.
But demand for bank loans has softened. The Fed survey found that a net 7.7% of loan officers saw higher credit demand from small businesses. Just 5.8% saw more demand from bigger firms.