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Credit Rebound

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More evidence the economy is slowly but surely recovering: credit card debt expanded by $6.5 billion in July. One year ago, as the recession was taking hold, consumers loped off $2.2 billion from revolving credit during July. The sharp increase in July was the second highest monthly jump since November of last year. During July, consumers revolving credit was growing at an annual rate of 10.8%. Since the first of this year consumer revolving credit has grown by $29.7 billion. Bank credit card debt at mid-year was $611.4 billion according to CardData (www.carddata.com). Bank credit card outstandings at mid-year were growing at an annual rate of 7.8% while overall revolving credit was growing at an annual rate of 3.4%. According to figures released Monday afternoon by the Federal Reserve, American consumers were $1.724 trillion in debt, exclusive of home mortgages.

                    REVOLVING CREDIT HISTORICAL
                          ($billions)
        Jul02   Jun 02  May 02   Apr 02    Mar 02   Feb 02    Jan 02
GRWTH:   10.8%   6.5     4.1      8.0       4.8      2.2       1.8
$OWED:  $722.1  715.6   712.1    708.7    705.4    705.0      702.4

        Dec 01  Nov 01  Oct 01  Sep 01     Aug 01   Jul 01     Jun 01
GRWTH:   -9.7%  12.7%   -7.1     0.6       -2.2     -3.7       2.1
$OWED:  $692.4  698.0   686.4   692.7      693.5b   698.1      700.3

Source: Federal Reserve; revised figures as of 09/08/02; For complete historical data visit CardData (www.carddata.com).

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