Consumer credit surges again in December (by Greg Robb)
WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) -- U.S. consumers increased their debt in December by a seasonally adjusted $19.3 billion, the Federal Reserve reported Tuesday. The increase is just below November's $20.4 billion pace which was the biggest gain in a decade. Monthly debt rose by a 9.4% pace in December, after a 9.9% pace in the prior month. The increase in consumer credit in December was much larger than expected by Wall Street economists. All types of credit gained in the month. The non-revolving category of debt, such as auto loans, personal loans, and student loans, jumped $16.6 billion, or 11.8%, in December. This is the largest amount since November 2001. Credit-card debt increased by $2.8 billion, or 4.1%, in the month. For the year, consumer credit rose 3.7%, the largest increase since 2007.