U.S. consumer credit rebounded strongly in August after posting its first decline in nearly a year in July, Federal Reserve data showed on Friday.
The rebound would likely be interpreted as a short-term boon to growth, though it could bode ill for household balance sheets if it is not accompanied by a rise in real wages, which have been stagnant.
U.S. consumer credit rose $18.12 billion, the biggest gain since May, following July's revised $2.45 billion decline. Revolving credit, which mostly measures credit-card use, climbed $4.2 billion. Nonrevolving credit, which includes student and auto loans, rose $13.92 billion.
Credit has been expanding almost continuously since mid-2010 as the country recovered from the 2007-2009 recession. The decline in July was the first drop since August of last year.
A sharp drop in the U.S. jobless rate to 7.8 percent in September, reported on Friday by the Labor Department, suggested the economic recovery, while weak, continues to muddle along.
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