Americans facing bitter medicine of credit contraction

A new report shows that the amount of credit available to Americans is still contracting, but in light of some other recent data showing that we still haven't shaken our addiction to spending, this seemingly bad news might be a blessing in disguise.

Federal Reserve data shows that between October and November, the amount of debt held by Americans dropped by $17.5 billion. Analysts only expected that amount to drop by around $4 billion, according to economists cited in this MarketWatch article.