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Ahead of the Bell: Consumer Credit

  Business  -   POSTED: 2009/09/08 11:33

Consumers, confronting job losses and weak income growth, likely cut back on their borrowing for a sixth consecutive month in July.

Consumer borrowing likely fell by $4.5 billion at an annual rate in July, according to economists surveyed by Thomson Reuters. The Federal Reserve is scheduled to release the report at 3 p.m. EDT Tuesday.

In June, consumers slashed their borrowing at a rate of $10.3 billion, marking another month where households cut back sharply on their use of credit cards and other types of loans amid the longest recession since World War II.

In April, consumers trimmed borrowing at a rate of $17.4 billion, the largest amount on records that date to 1943.

Widespread job losses, declining home values and shrunken stock portfolios have contributed to Americans' more thrifty mood.

The Labor Department reported last week that the unemployment rate jumped almost a half a point to 9.7 percent in August, the highest since 1983. Many economists believe the rate will hit 10 percent before the end of this year and will remain elevated levels for some time.



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