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Business Briefing / The Economy

Consumer debt falls for 7th month

October 08, 2009|Times Wire Reports

Consumers reduced their borrowing for the seventh straight month in August as households worked to pay off debt and banks reduced credit card limits.

The Federal Reserve said total consumer debt outstanding fell in August by $12 billion, a 5.8% annual rate. Wall Street economists expected a $10-billion decline.

That follows a downwardly revised drop of $19 billion, or 9.1%, in July, the largest decline in dollar terms on records dating from 1943. July's decrease was the steepest percentage drop since a 16.3% decline in June 1975.

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