Consumers curbed buying on credit in December, a report from the Federal Reserve Board showed, notably reining in their purchases on credit cards. Total U.S. consumer credit still increased by $4.9 billion at a 4.9% annual rate, but that was down modestly from a revised $5.1-billion rise in November at a 5.1% annual rate. It was also less than forecast by Wall Street economists, who had foreseen a $6.7-billion rise in the value of December installment credit owed. Furthermore, November’s total of consumer installment credit outstanding was revised down from a previously reported $7.4-billion increase. The apparent leveling off in consumer installment credit was notable since it occurred amid the height of the Christmas holiday shopping season.
Consumer Credit Levels Off in December
Times Staff and Wire Reports