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Friday, 7 June, 2002, 20:13 GMT 21:13 UK
US credit card debts soar
Clothes shopping
Many shoppers use credit cards rather than cash
America's shoppers are as keen as ever to whip out their plastic cards, according to the latest lending data.

Credit card loans rose $4.2bn (2.9bn) in April from the previous month when the rise had been $2.3bn.

Overall, consumer credit in the US - which includes car finance and other loans not secured in property, as well as credit card debts - rose a seasonally adjusted $8.8bn in April from the previous month, the Federal Reserve said.

The stronger than expected monthly rises were the biggest since November when shoppers were gearing up for Christmas.

Analysts had forecast that the overall rise would be $6.1bn.

Optimists?

Consumer credit had risen faster than expected in March too, up $6.8bn compared with a $4.6bn estimate.

Analysts often interpret rising consumer lending as a sign of optimism among shoppers.

Consumer organisations sometimes see it as a sign that people are short of cash and warn of trouble ahead when it comes to repay the loans - especially if interest rates head higher.


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07 Jun 02 | Business
28 May 02 | Business
07 Nov 01 | Business
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