Preliminary data suggests bank lending surged in the fourth quarter, notwithstanding the perpetual train wreck in Washington.

Commercial and industrial loan growth rebounded from two quarters of fading momentum to an annual rate of 15.5%, according to weekly reports published by the Federal Reserve. Total loans increased at a 5.2% pace, the fastest since the first quarter, and total assets jumped at an 11.1% rate. (The following graphic shows volume data for major balance sheet categories; interactive controls are described in the captions. Text continues below.)

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