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With interest rates slashed in response to the fallout from Covid-19, lending conditions eased in the first half of 2020, Statistics Canada reports.

According to new data, corporate credit grew by 3% ($30.0 billion) in the first half to over $1.0 trillion.

On a year-over-year basis, total business credit increased by 6% ($57.2 billion), StatsCan reported.

The real estate and rental and leasing industry led the increase in business credit, followed closely by the manufacturing sector and other primary industries (mining and energy extraction), StatsCan said.

The increase in lending activity comes alongside a rise in bond market financing, as companies seek funds to help ride out the pandemic, StatsCan noted.

“Debt had been growing in light of low interest rates but has been exacerbated by the impact of Covid-19,” the agency said.