WASHINGTON — Demand for lending services grew overall in the last six weeks but was stronger in some regions while others remained stagnant, according to a report issued Wednesday by the Federal Reserve Board.
"Demand for business and consumer credit varied widely but grew at a moderate pace overall," the Fed said in its periodic report on economic conditions known as the Beige Book.
The San Francisco, Chicago and Philadelphia Fed banks reported moderate-to-strong demand growth from commercial and consumer borrowers, the report said. The San Francisco Fed in particular described competition for qualified borrowers among banks as "fierce." The New York Fed, meanwhile, reported that small and midsize banks were experiencing strong lending demand. The St. Louis Fed reported stronger residential real estate demand since the beginning of the year.
The Kansas City, Atlanta and Dallas Fed banks, meanwhile, said that some borrowers associated with the oil and gas sector — which has taken a hit since the decline in energy prices — have had difficulty obtaining credit. Overall lending conditions in those regions was nonetheless steady, the banks reported.
Credit quality was also largely consistent from the previous report, the Fed said. The New York Fed said that delinquency rates — particularly for consumer loans — had gone down while overall credit standards were mostly unchanged. The Cleveland Fed, meanwhile, reported that the highest demand for loans in its district was for commercial real estate and merger and acquisition financing.