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U.S. revolving credit, 98% of which is credit card debt, fell in December, to $963.5 billion from $969.9 billion the previous month, according to a Federal Reserve G.19 report on consumer credit released Friday. Total seasonally adjusted consumer credit outstanding, which includes revolving and nonrevolving credit, decreased at an annual rate of 3.1% in December to $2.56 trillion, the report says. Though consumers continue to clamp down on spending, they felt slightly less pessimistic about the economy in January, according to a Discover Financial Services report (CardLine, 2/4). The Riverwoods, Ill.-based company's monthly U.S. Spending Monitor inched up 1.2 points in January to 77.8, the first increase in five months. It follows a record low of 76.6 set in December. Discover set the index at 100 when it introduced it in May 2007. For only the second time in the monitor's history, the percentage of consumers who plan to spend less in the following month (29%) exceeds the percentage that said they plan to spend more (17%).

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