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Another stat calling for a Fed hiatus! The Federal Reserve just released the latest consumer credit numbers showing that U.S. consumer borrowing slowed sharply in September. Consumer credit expanded $6.5 billion in September, while the August number was revised downward from plus $13.4 to plus $12.3 billion. Analysts had been expecting a jump of $11 billion for September.
The Fed said that both revolving and non-revolving credit growth slowed markedly in September, a fact that could indicate some slight consumer unwillingness to accumulate debt at the pace seen earlier this year.
Policy makers have recently shown some concerns about how freely consumers have tapped their available credit lines. Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Roger Ferguson, in a speech on Oct. 31, noted that household debt burdens (the ratio of debt-service payments to disposable income) had risen to 13.75 percent. "A rising debt may suggest that both consumers and lenders expect good times to continue," he said.
Today's numbers follow through on the Consumer Confidence report of October 31 that came in at its lowest level since October 1999.