WASHINGTON — According to the latest statistics released from the Federal Reserve, the average amount financed at auto lenders in May came in at the lowest point it has been since 2004 and 2005.

This trend is likely indicative of the increased consumer interest and purchases of smaller, more fuel-efficient vehicles that are costing less.

More specifically, for May, the average amount financed at auto lenders came in at $24,911, compared with $27,397 in April and $28,173 in March.

In another interesting turn, the average annual percentage rate for these loans climbed to 5.71 percent in May from 4.54 percent in April and 4.19 percent in March.

Overall, these loans are generally maturing after 64 months, according to the Federal Reserve. This is compared with 63.1 months in April and 62.3 months in March.

The average loan-to-value ratio declined slightly to 93 in May, down from 94 in April and March.

For 48-month new-car loans at commercial banks, the average interest rate came in at 6.81 percent, compared with 7.27 percent in the first quarter.

Discussing the recent credit trends, the Federal Reserve stated, "Consumer credit increased at an annual rate of 3.5 percent in May. Revolving credit rose at an annual rate of 7 percent, and non-revolving credit rose at an annual rate of 1.5 percent."