Consumers Cut Debt In Third Quarter
Consumers continued to reduce their credit card debts into October, according to a new report by the Federal Reserve Board. The fall marks the seventh straight drop in consumer debt.
Among the notable changes in October's report were the enhanced borrowing available to companies and consumers and an overall improved economic outlook.
However, despite the increased willingness to lend on behalf of issuers, the report saw a fall in the demand for credit from July through September, according to The Wall Street Journal. Lending conditions today remain tighter than before the economic downturn.
"Americans are borrowing less and paying off more debt than in the recent past," Donghoon Lee, senior economist at the New York Fed, told the Journal. "This change, which we continue to study carefully, can be a result of both tightening credit standards and voluntary changes in saving behavior."
Total consumer debt dropped 0.9 percent in the third quarter and was down 7.4 percent - from a peak in 2008 - to $11.6 trillion, the news source says. With mortgages and home equity removed, consumer debt fell by another 0.3 percent.