9 January 2009

US Consumer Credit turns down, sharply

This spells depression, not recession. % change from a year ago, free fall.(below)

Jan. 8 (Bloomberg) -- Consumer borrowing dropped by a record $7.9 billion in November as Americans scrambled to boost savings in face of the deepening recession and amid an investor exodus from securities backed by credit-card and other loans.

The slump brought consumer credit down to $2.57 trillion, and capped the first back-to-back monthly decline since 1992, the Federal Reserve said today in Washington. The biggest decrease came in securitized assets, an area where Fed policy makers are creating a new $200 billion lending program to shore up credit.

Today's figures foreshadow a prolonged drop in consumer spending as households try to reduce debt with their net worth declining and job losses accelerating, analysts said.

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