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Consumers reduced borrowing by record $21.6 billion in July

September 08, 2009

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Federal Reserve says consumers slashed their borrowing in July by the largest amount on record as job losses and uncertainty about the economic recovery prompted Americans to rein in their debt.

Consumers ratcheted back their credit by a larger-than-anticipated $21.6 billion from June, the most on records dating to 1943. Economists expected credit to drop by $4 billion.

July's retreat translated into an annualized drop of 10.4 percent. That was even sharper than the 7.4 percent annualized decline in June and the deepest cut since a 16.3 percent pace in June 1975.

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