Times Staff and Wire Reports

Consumer Credit Growth Slows in April: Despite the slowdown, the rate remained relatively strong amid other signs of a slackening economy and slower income growth. The Federal Reserve Board said installment credit rose at an annual rate of 14.1%, or $11 billion, off from March's 18.3% increase, which totaled $14.1 billion. Personal income rose 0.3% in April, down from the 0.7% pace a month earlier, the Commerce Department has reported. At the same time, consumer spending rose 0.7%. Analysts said the figures suggest continued high use of credit cards and other forms of financing. Consumer credit includes all household debt not secured by real estate, such as home equity loans and mortgages.

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