The Week Ahead

INSTALLMENT CREDIT

Wednesday, Sept. 8, 3 p.m. EDT -- Consumers probably added $4.5 billion in new debt in July, says the median forecast of economists surveyed by Standard & Poor's MMS, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies. Consumers added only $2.8 billion in debt in June, but that followed a massive $11.7 billion increase in May. The debt binge is an expected offshoot of the ongoing consumer spending spree. With people feeling wealthier because of rising home values or stock prices, households are borrowing much moRe freely than they did earlier in the decade. As a percent of disposable income, installment debt is at a near-record 21.3%.

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