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Or if you think that, given the housing market situation, people will stop having negative savings rate and will start tightening their belts a bit to build back the cushion no longer provided by their houses.

Well, it looks like, for the moment, instead of starting to save, US consumers have switched to credit card borrowing...

Bloomberg.com - U.S. Consumer Debt Rises More Than Forecast in March

Consumers are turning to credit cards after banks tightened standards for home-equity loans and other borrowing. The March figures brought U.S. consumer borrowing in the first quarter to $34 billion, the most since the first three months of 2001, when the economy entered its last official recession.

``Consumers are strapped as incomes are not keeping up with inflation and this is leading them to rely increasingly on credit to see them through the worst housing downturn since the Great Depression,'' said Chris Rupkey, chief financial economist at Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi in New York. ``The days of extracting cash from one's home to spend on goods and services are long gone.''

"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet
by Melanchthon on Fri May 9th, 2008 at 07:56:35 AM EST

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