Consumer credit rises for fourth month in a row (by Greg Robb)
WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) -- U.S. consumers increased their debt in January, the fourth straight month of gains, the Federal Reserve reported Monday. In January, total seasonally adjusted consumer debt increased $5.0 billion, or a 2.5% annualized rate, in January to $2.412 trillion, a gain close to Wall Street expectations. December consumer credit was revised to a $4.1 billion increase compared with the initial estimate of a $6.0 billion rise. After rising in December for the first time since August 2008, credit card debt declined in January, falling $4.2 billion or 6.4%. Non-revolving credit, such as auto loans, personal loans and student loans, increased $9.3 billion or 6.9% after a $2.1 billion rise in the prior month.