Business activity in the banking sector increased in August for the third straight month, according to industry executives surveyed for American Banker's latest Index of Banking Activity, but hints emerged that credit may have become slightly more difficult for consumers to access.

The IBA's August overall reading of 54.0 was essentially unchanged from July's 53.9 level. Both readings are indicative of modest growth across retail banking's primary business lines. The IBA is a product of American Banker's regular surveys of bank executives and is published in partnership with VantageScore Solutions. The August index was based on 244 responses.

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