Credit availability suffered an unusually large decline in December. The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) said its Mortgage Credit Availability Index (MCAI) fell 7.3 percent to 175.0 in December (it was 188.8 in November.) A decline in the MCAI indicates that lending standards are tightening. The MCAI has two major components and the loss in availability came entirely from the Conventional Index which decreased by 14.5 percent. The Government MCAI inched up by 0.1 percent. The Conventional MCAI itself has two components and both were down, the Jumbo MCAI by 14.9 percent and the Conforming by 14.0 percent.