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Re: U.S. Dec. consumer credit up $6.10 bln/Hal

Hi Lee,

Don't see this as a good sign at all going forward. Quite the opposite actually as this new recent trend appears somewhat disturbing. Up until recent months, the average U.S. consumer had been slowly repairing their personal balance sheets over the last 24 months or so since the credit crisis peaked, consuming less, saving more, and steadily paying down debt.

But now the fact that higher rate debt, particularly credit cards, is back on an upswing, it becomes a serious concern because, regardless of any short-term boost that may come to GDP numbers, it is unsustainable. Doesn't matter if folks qualify under more rigourous (hopefully!) credit standards in this new era...the fact that they are racking up this kind of debt already instead of financing new purchases with savings does not bode well...somewhere down the line the piper must be paid...the economy will take a hit and take a step back as a result.

This debt trend may be the most important one to keep an eye on in the coming quarters...

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Re: U.S. Dec. consumer credit up $6.10 bln/Hal