It turns out the rise in lending finance approvals in April was just a meaningless blip.
That's no surprise, of course.
The April figures, released a month ago by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), had shown a seven per cent rise in the value of finance approvals by banks and other lenders, driven by a 10 per cent jump in commercial finance approvals.
That evaporated with the May figures released on Monday.
They showed total finance approvals fell back by seven per cent led by a 12 per cent fall in commercial finance.
The total value of lending approvals in May, including business lease finance commitments, was $52.9 billion, in seasonally adjusted terms.
That was three per cent below the average of the year leading up to May, and two per cent above the year before that.
For commercial finance, the total in May was $31 billion, down by five per cent from the average of the year to April 2012 and up by two per cent from the year to April 2011.
In other words, there's no real sign of a sustained pickup in demand for, or supply of, credit, either overall or for businesses.
Just because credit growth is stagnating doesn't mean the economy is.
The two-speed economy is chugging along at a reasonable pace.
The parts of the economy with a lot of momentum, notably mining, are cashed up and not really needing to go cap in hand to the bank.
Those parts not doing so well are in a defensive mood and not really wanting to go cap in hand to the bank.
In any case, the lenders are more cautious than they were only a few years ago.
On top of that, they're also having to deal with dislocation in the world's financial markets, where much of their funding is acquired, and competition for deposits in the local market.
So there was no reason to expect the April rise in credit was anything but a one-off blip.
A pickup in economic activity in the slow part of the two-speed economy, and the rise in demand for credit that would go with it, is still some way down the track.
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