Banks to lend more but output suffers

UK LENDERS are to make mortgage loans more easily available, according to Bank of England research.<br /><br />The Bank&rsquo;s Credit Conditions Survey said availability of mortgages had decreased in the third quarter due to a deterioration in wholesale funding markets.<br /><br />But it said lenders expect more home loans to be offered in the final quarter as the housing market and the economy improve.<br /><br />And the survey showed that corporate lending had increased in the quarter, with further increases forecast.<br /><br />However, the positive news was dampened by data from the Chartered Institute of Purchasing &amp; Supply (CIPS), which said that manufacturing continued its decline in September. The CIPS index surprised analysts, falling to 49.5 from 49.7 in August, any figure below 50 showing contraction.<br /><br />Eurozone unemployment data did little to lighten the mood, with joblessness hitting a 10-year high of 9.6 per cent.<br /><br />In the US, confidence appears to be returning, as consumer spending beat expectations to jump 1.3 per cent in August, the largest gain since October 2001 and a fourth consecutive monthly rise.<br /><br />But a report from the Labour Department showed that applicants for state unemployment insurance climbing to a seasonally adjusted 551,000 from 534,000 in the previous week.<br /><br />And the Institute for Supply Management indicated a decline in manufacturing activity, as its monthly national factory index declined to 52.6 from 52.9, well below a median forecast of 54, but still in positive territory.