Tuesday, February 7, 2012
Americans accelerated their borrowing in December for the second straight month, running up more credit card debt and taking out loans to buy cars and attend school.
Consumer borrowing rose by $19.3 billion in December after a $20.4 billion gain in November. The two increases were the biggest monthly gains in a decade.
Total consumer borrowing is now at a seasonally adjusted $2.5 trillion. That nearly matches the pre-recession borrowing level, and it is up 4.4 percent from the September 2010 post-recession low.
The rise in borrowing could be a sign that Americans are more confident in the economy. But consumers could also be borrowing
more to make up for wages that haven't kept pace with inflation.