WASHINGTON — The average interest rate for new-car loans continued to drop in March, while the amount financed increased, according to the latest Federal Reserve Statistical Report.

The average interest rate for U.S. new-car loans was 2.74 percent in March 2009, a drop of nearly half a point from 3.17 recorded in February 2009.

The average term for a new-car loan was 61.2 months, up more than a point from the 59 months recorded in February.

The average loan-to-value ratio rose to 89 percent, while the amount financed increased from $26,268 in February to $27,999 in March.