Consumers keep piling up credit debt, Fed reports

Herald staff

WASHINGTON — The Federal Reserve said Friday consumer credit increased by a larger-than-expected seasonally adjusted $13.4 billion in September, or 10.9 percent at an annual rate, the fastest pace since June.

In August, demand for revolving credit, such as that used for credit cards, rose by $7.2 billion — a breakneck 13.5 percent annual rate — up from $3.7 billion and a 7.1 percent rate in July.

The total nonrevolving credit, such as loans for new cars, vacations and other big-ticket items, advanced by $6.2 billion at an annual rate of 8.9 percent. That was up from $5.3 billion and a 7.7 percent rate in July.

  • Jobless rate drops: The still-sizzling economy pushed the nation’s unemployment rate back down to a three-decade low of 3.9 percent in September and sent unemployment among blacks to the lowest point in history. The drop surprised experts because they expected economic growth to slow enough to hold the jobless rate steady at 4.1 percent, the rate in August. Friday’s report — coming just one month before the Nov. 7 elections — spelled good news for workers and for politicians hoping voters will give them credit.

  • Friday’s prices: Gold sold for $270 a troy ounce, silver for $4.94 and platinum for $585.80.

  • Merger report denied: First Union Corp. issued a statement Friday to deny that it is in merger talks with Wells Fargo, the nation’s fifth-largest bank. "There is absolutely no truth to the rumor that First Union is or has been engaged in merger discussions with Wells Fargo," First Union, the nation’s No. 6 bank, said in a statement. First Union typically doesn’t comment on merger or market speculation, but made an exception in this case because media reports were causing "employee confusion."

  • Car seats defective: Four million infant car seats made by an Ohio company have defective handles that can cause serious injuries to babies, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said. The problem involves all Century rear-facing infant car seats/carriers manufactured from January 1991 through July 1997. The defective seats have a molded plastic handle colored white, gray or tan. Consumers can call Century toll-free at 1-800-865-1419 for more information.

  • Visa fees may double: Federal fees that companies pay for visas to recruit skilled foreign workers would double to provide more training and education for American workers under a bill the House approved Friday. The $500 visa fee would rise to $1,000 if the Senate agrees as expected next week. The high-tech industry supported the increase in exchange for a dramatic expansion in the H-1B visa program that they had made a top legislative priority.

  • NW marketing chief named: Verizon Wireless has named Harry Thomas vice president of marketing for the Northwest. In his new role, Thomas is responsible for directing all marketing activities in the northwest area, which includes Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Iowa, South Dakota, North Dakota and Minnesota.

    Talk to us

  • More in Local News

    Marysville firefighters respond to a 12-year-old boy who fell down a well Tuesday May 30, 2023 in Marysville, Washington. (Photo provided by Marysville Fire District)
    Marysville firefighters save boy who fell 20 feet into well

    The 12-year-old child held himself up by grabbing on to a plastic pipe while firefighters worked to save him.

    Highway 9 is set to be closed in both directions for a week as construction crews build a roundabout at the intersection with Vernon Road. (Washington State Department of Transportation)
    Weeklong closure coming to Highway 9 section in Lake Stevens

    Travelers should expect delays or find another way from Friday to Thursday between Highway 204 and Lundeen Parkway.

    Students arriving off the bus get in line to score some waffles during a free pancake and waffle breakfast at Lowell Elementary School on Friday, May 26, 2023, in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
    800 free pancakes at Everett’s Lowell Elementary feed the masses

    The annual breakfast was started to connect the community and the school, as well as to get people to interact.

    Marysville Mayor Jon Nehring speaks at the groundbreaking event for the I-5/SR 529 Interchange project on Tuesday, May 23, 2023 in Marysville, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
    $123M project starting on Highway 529 interchange, I-5 HOV lane

    A reader wondered why the highway had a lane closure despite not seeing work done. Crews were waiting on the weather.

    Justin Bell was convicted earlier this month of first-degree assault for a December 2017 shooting outside a Value Village in Everett. (Caleb Hutton / Herald file)
    Court: Snohomish County jurors’ opaque masks didn’t taint verdict

    During the pandemic, Justin Bell, 32, went on trial for a shooting. Bell claims his right to an impartial jury was violated.

    Gary Fontes uprights a tree that fell over in front of The Fontes Manor — a miniature handmade bed and breakfast — on Friday, May 12, 2023, at his home near Silver Lake in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
    Everett’s mini-Frank Lloyd Wright builds neighborhood of extra tiny homes

    A tiny lighthouse, a spooky mansion and more: Gary Fontes’ miniature world of architectural wonders is one-twelfth the size of real life.

    Will Steffener
    Inslee appoints Steffener as Superior Court judge

    Attorney Will Steffener will replace Snohomish County Superior Court Judge Janice Ellis, who is retiring in June.

    A few weeks before what could be her final professional UFC fight, Miranda Granger grimaces as she pushes a 45-pound plate up her driveway on Tuesday, July 12, 2022, in Lake Stevens, Washington. Her daughter Austin, age 11 months, is strapped to her back. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
    Daily Herald staff wins 5 honors at annual journalism competition

    The Herald got one first-place win and four runner-up spots in SPJ’s Northwest Excellence in Journalism contest.

    Panelists from different areas of mental health care speak at the Herald Forum about mental health care on Wednesday, May 31, 2023 in Snohomish, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
    At panel, mental health experts brainstorm answers to staff shortages

    Workforce shortages, insurance coverage and crisis response were in focus at the Snohomish forum hosted by The Daily Herald.

    Most Read