Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Consumer Debt Rises for 6th Straight Month

April 08, 1993|From Associated Press

WASHINGTON — American consumers increased their borrowing for the sixth consecutive month in February, bringing their total debt to the highest level in 16 months, the government said Wednesday.

Consumer installment credit outstanding rose at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.9% to $728.8 billion, the highest level since October, 1991, the Federal Reserve said.

February's gain followed a 1.6% rise at an annual rate in January and a 5.3% rate advance in December, the best in two years.

The last decline in consumer credit came in August, which had marked the seventh consecutive drop.

During the recession, consumers reduced their borrowing and sought to pay down their debts. But over the last six months, they have picked up the pace of both their spending and borrowing.

Economists are warning, however, that unless the job market continues improving, consumers will again scale back their borrowing and spending will stagnate.

In February, the biggest gain came in the revolving credit category, which includes credit cards. It rose at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 11.4%, also the best since October, 1991, following a 7.3% gain in January.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|