Consumers cut credit card use for 2nd month

WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans cut back on their credit card use in July for the second straight month, suggesting many remain cautious in the face of high unemployment and slow growth.

Total consumer borrowing dipped $3.3 billion in July from June to a seasonally adjusted $2.705 trillion, the Federal Reserve said Monday. The drop in credit card debt offset a small rise in a measure of auto and student loans.

The Fed also said Americans have borrowed much more than previously estimated after it revised consumer borrowing data back to December 2010. June’s figure was increased to $2.708 trillion, or $130 billion higher than initially thought. It’s also well above pre-recession levels.

Consumer debt declined even though Americans boosted their spending in July by the most in five months, according to government data released last week.

Consumers have been using credit cards much less since the 2008 credit crisis.

Four years ago, Americans had $1.03 trillion in credit card debt, an all-time high. In July, it was $850.7 billion — or 17 percent lower.

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