What Trump Bump? Businesses Aren’t Borrowing from Banks

A surge in loans expected after last November’s election has yet to materialize

Since President Donald Trump’s election, bankers and investors predicted that pro-business policies would lead to a surge in corporate borrowing, which would help bank profits.

Instead, the growth of loans to companies has dropped precipitously since last November—to 2.1% from 8.1%, according to Federal Reserve data.

“Everybody thought we were about to catch a wave earlier in the year,” said David Turner, chief financial officer of Regions Financial Corp. RF +0.57% , at a conference last month. “It didn’t happen.”

.. The loan-growth slowdown is noteworthy because it is occurring when many metrics show the U.S. economy strengthening. Unemployment is low, broader stock-market indexes have reached records and metrics of small-business confidence are up.

.. many companies have borrowed what they need for the current environment. “They already did the borrowing when rates were lower,”