Consumer Credit in US Rose Less Than Forecast in February
News from Bloomberg:

U.S. consumer borrowing rose less than forecast in February, restrained by a drop in credit-card debt, according to a Federal Reserve report.

Credit increased $ 8.7 billion, the least in four months, after a revised $ 18.6 billion gain in January that was more than initially estimated, Federal Reserve figures showed today in Washington. Economists projected a $ 12 billion rise in the measure of revolving and non-revolving loans for February, according to the median forecast in a Bloomberg News survey.

Smaller gains in borrowing indicate American households are continuing to pay down debt or are less optimistic about their finances. Another report today showed the economy created fewer jobs than forecast in March, a sign it may take time before consumers become more comfortable taking on debt.

“Credit card borrowing has slowed down a bit,” Aneta Markowska, a senior U.S. economist at Societe Generale in New York, said before the report. “Cle…………… continues on Bloomberg

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Student loan debt hurts recovery
News from Mid Columbia Tri City Herald:

WASHINGTON — The federal student loan program seemed like a great idea back in 1965: borrow to go to college now, pay it back later when you have a job.

But many borrowers these days are close to flunking out, tripped up by painful real-life lessons in math and economics.

Surging above $ 1 trillion, U.S. student loan debt has surpassed credit card and auto-loan debt. This debt explosion jeopardizes the fragile recovery, increases the burden on taxpayers and possibly sets the stage for a new economic crisis.

With a still-wobbly jobs market, these loans are increasingly hard to pay off. Unable to find work, many students have returned to school, further driving up their indebtedness.

Average student loan debt recently topped $ 25,000, up 25 percent in 10 years. And the mushrooming debt has direct implications for taxpayers, since 8 in 10 of these loans are government-issued or guaranteed.

President Obama has offered a raft of proposals aimed at fine-tuning the system and making repayments easier. Yet the predicament of debt-burdened former students has failed to generate much notice in the GOP presidential campaign. Instead, the candidates are dismissive of government student loan programs in general and Obama’s proposals in particular.

Rick Santorum went so far as to label Obama “a snob” for urging all Americans t…………… continues on Mid Columbia Tri City Herald

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