Monday, August 10, 2009

Consumer Credit Down Sharply

Another strike for consumers (they may WANT to spend, but with job losses, wealth destroyed, and the inability to spend with borrowed money, they may not be able to do so). Money CNN with the details:

Consumer credit fell in June for the fifth straight month, as widespread unemployment curbed spending, a government report said Friday.

Total consumer borrowing sank a seasonally adjusted $10.3 billion, or 4.9%, to $2.503 trillion, according to the Federal Reserve. The report measures how much debt consumers have outstanding.

The reduced borrowing comes as the economy sheds jobs by the thousands, and mass layoffs and pay cuts have limited consumer spending power. At the same time, banks have tightened lending standards due to growing concerns about default risk.

Consumer credit began contracting last August, the first decline since January 1998. It rebounded in September before contracting again and fell for three consecutive months to close out 2008.