by Wolf Richter
Amid enormous shifts and distortions in consumption and trillions of dollars handed out by the government and the Fed.
American consumers – those hundreds of millions of mythical creatures whose sole job is to consume more than they make – have paid down their credit cards again. In December, the crucial month for overspending with borrowed money, credit card balances and other revolving credit ticked down 0.3% from the prior month, to $976 billion, seasonally adjusted (green line in the chart below), according to the Federal Reserve Friday afternoon. This was down 10.8% year-over-year, the steepest year-over-year decline ever.