U.S. consumer credit falls again, sending the global economy a message

Joseph Lazzaro

Just call it "the sound of no cards swiping." Americans are keeping their credit cards in their wallets.

Balances on U.S. consumer credit cards in August fell at a 5.8 percent annual rate, or by $11.98 billion, the U.S. Federal Reserve announced Wednesday. It was the seventh consecutive monthly decline in consumer credit -- a pattern that's consistent with both the frugal-consumer trend in the U.S. and banks' decisions to lower, or in some cases eliminate, credit lines in the wake of the financial crisis.

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