ECONOMY

Installment Debt Tumbles: Consumer credit fell sharply in March, pulled down by a drop in automobile loans at the same time credit card debt was little changed, the Federal Reserve said. Consumer credit fell 2.7% at a seasonally adjusted annual rate, or $1.6 billion. That followed a revised 0.8% decline in February, steeper than the 0.3% drop originally estimated. Except for a barely perceptible 0.1% advance in January, installment debt has been falling in recent months as consumers unload mountains of debt amassed before the recession. Consumer credit includes all consumer loans except mortgages and home equity loans.

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