The Week Ahead


Consumer debt probably held steady in November, after expanding $0.8 billion in October, say economists surveyed by MMS International, a unit of McGraw-Hill Inc. However, installment debt may have risen slightly in November because consumer spending rose while personal income declined for the month. That split suggests that households used their credit cards to make some purchases. Growth in installment credit had been slowing in 1991. However, some consumers who are not using revolving credit are probably turning to home-equity loans as a source of cash. Unlike credit-card debt and auto financing, interest paid on home-equity loans is still tax-deductible for most consumers.

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