While many inveestors and industry observers are concerned about a double dip recession, the good news is lenders are optimistic about the economy, according to a Phoenix Management survey.

The second quarter results of the firm's “Lending Climate in America” survey reveal that lenders are loaning money at greater rates and expect to continue lending over the next six months. Lenders have also seen a decline in loan losses, bankruptcies, unemployment and bank failures, the survey reports, and lenders expect an improvement in the U.S. economy for the short- and long-term.

“It is encouraging to see such positive signs of improvement from lenders,” Michael Jacoby, a senior managing director at Phoenix, said in a press release.

When asked about the most important aspect for U.S. economic recovery, 64% of lenders said they believe job growth and creation to be the most significant factor for economic recovery.

Twelve percent believe that an increase in consumer spending is the most important stimulus for growth in the economy and another 12% believe that a reduction in the fiscal deficit is critical to improving the U.S. economy. Ten percent said that a thawing of the credit markets is the best solution for economic recovery.

Meanwhile, expectations for domestic lending experienced a slight decline from the previous quarter for the first time in four quarters. Forty-four percent of lenders surveyed have expectations for increased loan demand, down from 47% in the prior quarter. In addition, 13% believe domestic lending will slow, up from only 9% in the previous survey.

Lenders expect the economy to grow slightly for the next six to 12 months compared to the last survey and anticipate the economy will improve further beyond the six-month mark.

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