Defying expectations of a cyclical downturn in consumer credit quality, the American Bankers Association's index of loan delinquencies has improved for the 10th consecutive quarter.

The ABA's composite percentage of closed-end loan accounts with payments at least 30 days overdue fell to 1.66% on Sept. 30 from 1.71% on June 30 and 1.95% at the end of the third quarter of 1993.

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