In an annual speech at the 48th Annual Conference on Bank Structure and Competition on May 10th in Chicago, Illinois via satellite, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said that Credit conditions in the United States have improved significantly in a number of areas.
The Chairman said further that individuals and businesses are finding it easier to borrow than they did just a few years ago. The Chairman attributed this to better conditions in financial markets more broadly. The Chairman said that large businesses with access to capital markets have, in general, been able to raise capital at attractive terms. Consumers with strong credit histories have had access to financing.
The Chairman cautioned that in some sectors to some borrowers, credit remains tight. He cited mortgage lending as an important example. Since it’s peak, U.S. mortgage outstanding balances have shrunk 13% in real terms.