Dramatic decline in borrowing — $17.5 billion in November versus $5 billion

Consumer borrowing dropped by a record amount in November, the 10th straight month that Americans relied less on credit cards and banks hoarded their cash.

The dramatic decline in borrowing — $17.5 billion in November versus $5 billion that analysts had projected — underscores the battered state of household finances and the uncertain employment picture. The jobless rate is lingering at 10% .

Households are struggling “to put their balance sheets in order after the credit and asset bubbles popped,” Joshua Shapiro, chief U.S. economist at MFR Inc., told Bloomberg. “Household de-leveraging still has considerably further to go.”

See the Federal Reserve’s latest numbers here.

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