U.S. consumer credit decreases more than expected in February

April 7, 2009 11:54 pm 

WASHINGTON, April 8 — U.S. consumer credit plunged at an annual rate of 7.48 billion U.S. dollars, or 3.5 percent in February, much more than experts expected, the Federal Reserve reported Tuesday.

The 7.48 billion dollar decrease was in contrast to a plunge of 1 billion dollars that economists had been expecting for last month. It was fourth decline in six months.

According to the report, total consumer borrowing, which the Federal Reserve defines as all loans not secured by real estate, decreased to an annual rate of 2.564 trillion dollars at the end of February.

For February, consumer credit in revolving loans, a category that includes primarily credit card debt, plunged by 9.7 percent at an annual rate.

Demand for nonrevolving credit used to finance cars, vacations, education and other things, meanwhile, was up 0.2 percent.

Many analysts believe that the strength in consumer borrowing will continue to be weak as the recession is deepening and job layoffs are rising. (PNA/Xinhua) ALM/ebp

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