Consumer borrowing surges as economy improves

January 9, 2012 Off By administrator

Consumer borrowing surges as economy improves
News from Herald & Review:

Americans are feeling confident enough in the economy to go back to a time-honored tradition _ taking on a little extra debt.

Consumer borrowing surged in November by $ 20.4 billion, the Federal Reserve said Monday. It was the third straight increase and the largest monthly gain in a decade.

The jump in borrowing was largely because people took out more loans to buy cars and swiped their credit cards frequently to purchase holiday gifts.

In November, total consumer borrowing rose to seasonally adjusted $ 2.48 trillion. That’s nearly at pre-recession levels and up from a post-recession low point of $ 2.39 trillion reached in September 2010. Borrowing had tumbled for more than two years during and immediately after the recession.

Since then, consumers have increased their borrowing in 13 of the past 14 months. Americans are taking on more debt after seeing the unemployment rate drop and the economy improve, albeit modestly. Many are also leaning on their credit cards and loans to make up for wages that haven’t kept pace with inflation this year.

Holiday sales were solid in November, and the U.S. auto industry had its two best sales months for the year in November and December. The Fed’s credit report appeared to reflect those sales.

The category that measures credit card debt rose in November by $ 5.6 billion, th…………… continues on Herald & Review

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