Softening of consumer lending demand has persisted over the past eight weeks and delinquencies on consumer loans has increased in some areas, according to the Beige Book, the Federal Reserve Board's summary of economic activity reports from all 12 central bank districts, which was released Wednesday.

"Overall loan demand cooled in Richmond, Atlanta, St. Louis and San Francisco, while Philadelphia and Cleveland saw a modest increase," the Fed reports. New York saw little change in demand across all loan categories, while lending activity in Chicago was mixed.

Residential lending activity remained generally weak in Richmond, Atlanta and Chicago but demand picked up in Philadelphia, Cleveland, Kansas City and Dallas and residential real estate markets remained weak across most districts.

The Federal Reserve banks in New York, Philadelphia and Cleveland have seen increases in overall delinquencies, with respondents in New York indicating a notable rise in late payments for consumer loans.

Credit quality deteriorated further in San Francisco, but began to stabilize in Chicago and Dallas. Kansas City and Dallas expect loan quality will deteriorate going forward.

All districts reporting on credit standards noted further tightening for consumer, residential and commercial loans. Additionally, consumer spending slowed since the last report as incomes were pinched by rising energy and food prices.

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