Friday, July 8

The May level of consumers' outstanding installment debt, mainly auto loans and credit card balances, is expected to have climbed by $5.9 billion, says MMS. That increase would follow an $8.9 billion surge in April. Households have been expanding their debt rapidly in recent months as job prospects brightened and consumer confidence strengthened. However, debt as a percentage of aftertax income has not climbed appreciably, and the monthly cost of carrying those IOUs as a share of income is falling. Still, credit growth may slow as the spending boom in consumer durables cools off.

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