Consumers' credit debt falls for ninth straight month


The frugal consumer era continued in October, but belt-tightening lessened somewhat, as outstanding U.S. consumer credit balances fell by $3.51 billion or at a 1.7% annual rate in October to $2.482 trillion -- the ninth straight monthly credit decline, the U.S. Federal Reserve announced Monday.

Economists surveyed by Bloomberg News had expected October consumer credit to contract by $8.80 billion. Consumer credit is down 3.6% to compared to a year ago. Also, this month the Fed revised monthly consumer credit data back through March. September's total debt outstanding was revised higher by $30.6 billion, to $2.486 trillion from the previously-released $2.456 trillion.