U.S. consumer credit posted its weakest growth in eight months in June as Americans reduced credit card debt, a potentially negative sign for an economy that has struggled to create jobs.
Consumer credit grew by $6.46 billion in June, the Federal Reserve said on Tuesday. That was well below the $11 billion advance Wall Street economists had forecast in a Reuters poll.
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The Fed also said credit climbed slightly less during May than originally thought.
Credit has been expanding since late 2010 as the country recovered from the 2007-2009 recession. The expansion in June, however, was the smallest since October 2011.
In June, revolving credit, which includes credit cards, shrank by $3.7 billion.
Non-revolving credit increased by $10.15 billion.
Consumer credit flows - a relatively new data series that the Fed says is more sensitive to economic trends - also cooled. The flow of consumer credit fell to an annual rate of $77.5 billion in June. In May, that rate was $200.4 billion, the Fed said. (Reporting by Jason Lange; Neil Stempleman)