US business loan activity is on the rise. Greater optimism about resource sector investment returns will need more signs of improved investment spending in the advanced economies and, with that, stronger raw material demand. U.S. commercial and industrial loans by banks rose 61% over the year to February 2014. The numbers are tallied in the first week of the middle month in each quarter by the US Federal Reserve. The next survey is due to be completed next week and published around 1 July. The flow through into capacity expansions or equipment updates is not yet evident. Low capital intensity technological innovation will account for some of the additional financial firepower but the numbers suggest that lending constraints are not holding back investment decisions.