Wells Fargo & Co. said it expects a key measure of lending to pick up this year, a sign that clients are starting to take on debt again as government stimulus wanes.

The bank said net interest income may rise about 8% this year. The firm also reported net income of $5.8 billion, beating analysts’ expectations and the latest indication that Chief Executive Officer Charlie Scharf’s turnaround is taking hold.

“As the economy continued to recover we saw increased consumer spending, higher investment banking fees, higher asset-based fees in our wealth and investment management business, and strong equity gains in our affiliated venture capital and private equity businesses,” Scharf said in a statement.

The results provide a look at how the U.S. economy fared during the last three months of the year, including as the omicron variant of COVID-19 took hold in December. JPMorgan Chase & Co. also reported results on Friday, posting a decline in trading revenue that was steeper than analysts expected and said both commercial and consumer loans fell from a year earlier.

Wells Fargo shares have gained 1.3% in the 12 months through Thursday, less than the 58% increase in the KBW Bank Index.

Expenses declined to $13.2 billion, a drop that was less than what analysts expected. Reducing costs has been a key part of Scharf’s turnaround plans since he took the helm more than two years ago. Wells Fargo also provided guidance for 2022 and expects non-interest expenses to decrease by 4.3%.

Lending has been a key focus for investors after appetite lagged for much of 2021. That’s normally a bad sign for banks, but executives blamed consumers and businesses being flush with stimulus cash.

Wells Fargo’s period-end loans rose 1% in the fourth quarter from a year earlier, driven by a jump in borrowing in the corporate and investment bank. Still, consumer loans fell 10% from a year ago and total commercial borrowing ticked up.

Also in Wells Fargo’s fourth-quarter earnings:

The bank expects operating losses to total about $1.3 billion in 2022, exceeding last year’s levels, driven by litigation, regulatory issues and related costs.

Wells Fargo’s efficiency ratio, a measure of profitability, improved to 63% from 71% at the end of September.