Consumer Credit Down for 11th Consecutive Month

Consumer borrowing in the U.S. declined less than anticipated in December as Americans took out loans to buy cars.

The series of declines is the longest on record and indicates consumer spending, which accounts for about 70 percent of the economy, will be restrained with Americans reluctant to take on more debt until hiring picks up. A separate government report today showed the unemployment rate unexpectedly dropped to 9.7 percent last month.