Monday, May 7, 2007

Consumer Debt Increased in March by $13.5 Billion

From an article in Bloomberg

Consumer credit, or non-mortgage loans to individuals, increased $13.5 billion, or 6.7 percent at an annual rate, to $2.425 trillion, the Fed said today in Washington. In February, consumer debt rose $5.6 billion. . . .

The increase in consumer credit in March was the largest since a $20.1 billion gain in November, according to Fed statistics. . . .

. . . . Revolving debt, such as credit cards, rose $6.8 billion in March after rising $2.2 billion a month earlier, according to the Fed's statistics. Non-revolving debt, such as auto loans and mobile home loans, rose $6.7 billion for the month after increasing $3.4 billion a month earlier.

Consumer borrowing is up in March, unemployment is up in April, real hourly wages are up in March and April but at a slowing rate, and the total number of hours worked in April is down.

Is the consumer seeing a slowing economy and lower incomes so borrowing has increased to maintain their consumption patterns?

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