Throughout 2017, business sentiment in the banking industry has been a volatile affair, buffeted by economic and political crosswinds.
The latest reading of American Banker's latest Index of Banking Activity (IBA) suggests that volatility may be subsiding just a bit — with one potentially significant caveat.
The IBA Composite eased to 56.2 in July from a reading of 57.0 in June and many of the index's components tallied similarly modest declines. One exception, however, was the component that tracks commercial loan delinquencies: At a July reading of 53.5, that indicator is now near the important 50-point line, mirroring a deterioration that has already been evident in responses related to consumer lending.
Another outlier that bears watching is the one related to rejection of consumer loan applications. That score, which climbed 4.3 points to 57.3, may indicate that lenders are taking a somewhat less selective approach. Given the relatively soft readings on consumer delinquencies, this could be a sign that consumer credit is heading for a less favorable turn in the cycle.