The month of August brought a moderating influence to banking activity, with consumers in particular leveling off in their pursuit of new credit.

The American Banker Index of Banking Activity (IBA) registered a 56.3 reading in the month, essentially unchanged from July.

The index was boosted by improved readings in the components that track loan delinquencies (consumer and commercial). Both those components moved well above the 50-point line, to 55.5 and 58.2 respectively, breaking an extended series of declines that had put them very close to contraction levels.

The lift provided by those components was offset, however, by similar-sized declines in the consumer loan application and approval components. The retreat here was not surprising: these two components have consistently seen declines in August, albeit often from higher July levels.

On a regional level, the loss of momentum was most pronounced in the West, while the Northeast, Midwest and South all held to levels in line with last month.