Bank lending rose 1.3% in January

JIJI

The average daily balance of lending by domestic banks in January rose 1.3 percent from a year before to ¥465 trillion, climbing for the 15th straight month, the Bank of Japan reported Friday.

The growth was the highest since the 1.4 percent rise posted in October 2009. Lending increased on demand for mergers and acquisitions and postdisaster reconstruction in Tohoku. Loans to utilities also grew, but most of these funds were used to support day-to-day operations rather than capital investments, a BOJ official said.

The lending balance at city banks rose for a second month, up 0.7 percent, while the total balance at regional and second-tier banks grew 2.5 percent. The average daily balance of deposits at city, regional and second-tier banks rose 2.3 percent to ¥575.62 trillion.