A consulting firm is challenging a number of assumptions that U.S. policymakers are applying to fight the credit crisis.

Far from seeing a tightening of credit, a number of gauges show that credit has expanded, according to Celent Communications Inc., Boston. Celent finds, too, that the lending markets are in surprisingly good health.

The company cites data published by the Federal Reserve System and other sources showing that:

–Overall lending by US banks as well as interbank lending and consumer credit are all at record highs and actually have increased during the credit crisis.

–Commercial paper markets are operating within their historical norms.

–Municipal bond markets are operating within their historical norms.

–Deposits at banks have shown a substantial increase since the start of the credit crisis.

“It appears that policymakers are making a variety of mistakes regarding the current financial crisis,” said Octavio Marenzi, head of Celent and author of the report. “If that is the case, the policy tools that they are employing may very well be the wrong ones.”