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Consumer credit card debt rises in second quarter

Nov 03, 2011 Philip Burgess

U.S. credit card debt grew in the second quarter of this year, continuing an up-and-down trend of excessive spending and marginal pay offs since the recession ended. While figures have fluctuated from quarter to quarter, the long-term trends seems to be pointing toward fiscal instability. Consumers, it appears, have not learned much from the financial collapse and recession, and are applying pre-recession habits to recession-era trends. The second quarter saw consumers gain almost $18.5 billion in new debt, according to a recent Card Hub debt study, spurning the nearly $33 billion paid down in the first quarter. The figures also marks a 66 percent jump from the same period last year and a 368 percent hike from 2009. "What seems to be happening is that too few people are taking the lessons of the housing bubble to heart," writes Odysseas Papadimitriou for the Huffington Post. :Things simply aren't going back to the pre-recession idea of normal that many of us assume will return once we work out all this economy rubbish." While consumer spending has shown some signs of improvement in recent weeks, most economists agree the wider market has a long-road recovery ahead.