Americans Run Up More Credit Card Debt

The average American had almost $5,000 of credit card debt in the third quarter of 2012, up almost 5 percent over the previous quarter. Industry analysts say the increase is partly seasonal, people spending more ahead of the holidays. But they also say it could reflect growing consumer confidence, which has been on the rise since July as job numbers have gradually improved nationwide.

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RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

NPR's business news begins with credit card debt rising.

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MONTAGNE: Americans are running up more debt on their credit cards, and that could be a good sign. The average American had almost $5,000 of credit card debt in the third quarter of 2012, up almost 5 percent over the previous quarter.

Industry analysts say the increase is partly seasonal as people spend more, ahead of the holidays. But they also say it could reflect growing consumer confidence, which has been on the rise since July as job numbers have gradually improved nationwide.

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