Banks eased lending terms in the first quarter as they forecast improvement in the U.S. economy and companies sought more loans, according to a Federal Reserve survey. “The April survey indicated that, on net, bank lending standards and terms generally had eased somewhat further during the first quarter of this year,” the central bank said today in its quarterly survey of senior loan officers. The looser standards for business loans reflected more competition among banks and some banks “also pointed to a more favorable or less uncertain economic outlook,” the Fed said.