WASHINGTON — Keeping a watchful eye on their debt, consumers cut back on their borrowing in November by the largest amount on record, the Federal Reserve reported Friday.
Consumer credit dropped by $8.7 billion in November from the previous month, marking the largest over-the-month decrease since the Fed began keeping records in 1943. The cutback represented a 5 percent decline at a seasonally adjusted annual rate.
The last time consumers trimmed their borrowing was in November 2003.
Consumers put off stocking up on holiday merchandise — which normally shows up on credit card bills — waiting instead for deeper discounts, economists said.