WASHINGTON -- In the latest indication that business credit has been tight, banks' commercial and industrial loans declined 3% between June 30 and Sept. 30, regulators said last week.

Total C&I loans on Sept. 30, at $572 billion, were 8% below the level 12 months earlier, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. reported. Loans to individuals fell a more modest 4% over the year, real estate loans rose 3%, and other loans and leases were off 5%.

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