Financial analysts report that the long-awaited recovery in bank lending to consumers is well under way in some smaller U.S. cities.  It seems however, to be much delayed in the large metropolitan areas on the East and West coasts reports the Wall Street Journal. The geographic divergence in new credit highlights the uneven recovery in different parts of the U.S. In some smaller population centers across the Great Plains and Midwest that rely on energy, food processing and manufacturing industries, banks are taking as much risk as they did prior to the crisis. But new lending still is trailing in larger coastal areas that were dominated by construction and finance. The largest drops were in cities scattered across California and Florida, the states hardest hit by the U.S. housing bust. New lending in Merced, California, which experienced one of the worst housing collapses in the U.S., ended last year 81 percent below the peak in 2006. The three largest U.S. cities—New York, Chicago and Los Angeles—experienced decreases of 38 percent, 44 percent and 55 percent, respectively.

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