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Fed says U.S. banks easing loan standards, credit demand rising

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Banks made it easier for Americans to get loans in recent months and demand for credit also increased, signs that the U.S. economic recovery is gaining steam.

The U.S. Federal Reserve said on Monday that banks eased their lending standards "for many types of loan categories amid a broad-based pickup in loan demand."

The assessment was part of the Fed's quarterly survey of senior loan officers, and was based on the responses gathered in the first two weeks of July from 75 U.S. banks and 23 U.S. branches of foreign banks.

The results are a positive signal for both the U.S. housing market and for business investment.

Many banks eased standards for mortgages lending, and domestic lenders were also making it easier for businesses to qualify for loans, the Fed said.

Economic growth in the United States surged between April and June, and most analysts expect the economy will keep growing at brisk rates during the rest of this year.

The survey of loan officers showed demand for credit rose for "many more loan categories" than in the Fed's April survey.

(Reporting by Jason Lange; Editing by Andrea Ricci)