Lending activity dipped slightly in the past six weeks, while credit standards continued to tighten, according to a Federal Reserve Board report released Wednesday.
The central bank's Beige Book said that most of its 12 districts reported little or no change from existing low levels of commercial and industrial lending. Dallas and San Francisco said that overall lending trailed off, citing declines driven by weak business lending.
The report said that consumer lending also remained sluggish, with some refinancing activity spurring increased demand for residential mortgages in the New York, Cleveland, Chicago and Kansas City districts. New purchase mortgage activity remained relatively stagnant, however.
Lending standards were unchanged in many districts, while others saw tougher standards. New York cited tighter standards in all lending categories, particularly for commercial mortgages, while Kansas City reported that a few banks tightened standards for commercial real estate loans.
The situation was different in Chicago, which indicated that credit availability and terms loosened for business and consumer loans. Credit quality also changed little, the report said. Philadelphia, Chicago and San Francisco cited modest improvements in quality, while New York reported rising delinquencies in all categories except consumer loans.