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Consumer Credit Levels Off in December

Times Staff and Wire Reports

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.


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