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Consumer borrowing hits a 10-year low

Government data show consumer borrowing in the U.S. fell in August for the first time in more than a decade as households, battered by rising job layoffs and the worsening economy, cut back sharply on their use of credit.
/ Source: The Associated Press

Government data show consumer borrowing in the U.S. fell in August for the first time in more than a decade as households, battered by rising job layoffs and the worsening economy, cut back sharply on their use of credit.

The Federal Reserve said Tuesday that consumer borrowing fell at an annual rate of 3.7 percent in August. It marked the first time that total borrowing had fallen since a 4.3 percent rate of decline in January 1998.

The weakness reflected a big decline of 5.4 percent at an annual rate in the category that includes auto loans and a 0.8 percent rate of decline in the category that includes credit cards.