JOHNSON COUNTY AREA NEWS, PUBLIC RECORDS AND PUBLIC NOTICES
 
The Legal Record
 
VOL. 122, NO. 7 ONLINE EDITION February 18, 2020
A WEEKLY COMMUNITY NEWSPAPER OF GENERAL CIRCULATION SERVING JOHNSON COUNTY, KANSAS
 
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Credit card use surged during Christmas season
Americans gave their credit cards a real workout this past Christmas season.  

The Federal Reserve said that borrowing on credit cards rose by the largest amount in more than two decades in December.  

Total U.S. consumer borrowing rose $22.1 billion in December, the central bank said. That was the biggest gain since July and nearly double the $11.8 billion increase in November.  

The overall December surge was led by a $12.6 billion increase in the category that includes credit cards. It was the biggest one-month gain in credit card debt since a $19.5 billion increase in April 1998.  

Decemberís jump came after a $2.9 billion decline in credit card borrowing in November.  

The surge in credit card borrowing in December was another sign that retailers had a good Christmas shopping season, although a growing share of those purchases are going to on-line retailers rather than brick-and-mortar stores.  

Borrowing in the category that covers auto loans and student loans was up $9.4 billion in December, down from a $14.7 billion gain in November.  

Consumer borrowing is closely watched for signals it can provide about Americansí willingness to take on debt to finance consumer spending, which accounts for 70% of U.S. economic activity.  

The overall increase of $22.1 billion pushed consumer credit to a record of $1.1 trillion. The Fedís monthly credit report does not cover home mortgages or other debt secured by real estate such as home equity loans.  

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