That ballooning balance

Watching That Balance Grow . . . and Grow


According to a new report from the Federal Reserve, revolving credit, which includes credit cards, increased at an annual rate of about 7 percent in May. In April, by contrast, it had shown a slight percentage decline.

The increase is notable because May was the first month when rebate checks from the federal government really started to kick in. So even with some extra financial padding, many consumers still turned to their credit cards.

Prudent credit-card carriers may well be vowing to pay off their balances in full. But with food and gas prices soaring, more people must lean on plastic for the necessities of life, and it becomes harder and harder to keep that balance from ballooning.

Comment: See article for NYTimes chart.

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