This is only going to get worse, housing hasnt bottomed and wont for quite sometime. There is a long time before the consumer can start tapping out of their houses again which means the only way of spending is through credit cards and that too will be coming to an end very soon. $1 Trillion worth of CC debt. U.S. Consumer Credit Increases $14.3 Billion in June By Shobhana Chandra Aug. 7 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. consumers borrowed more than twice as much as economists forecast in June as a decline in home equity forced Americans to fund purchases with credit cards and other loans. Consumer credit rose by $14.3 billion, the most since November, to $2.59 trillion, the Federal Reserve said today in Washington. In May, credit rose by $8.1 billion, previously reported as an increase of $7.8 billion. The Fed's report doesn't cover borrowing secured by real estate. Consumers are using credit cards and loans to cover expenses as falling home values cause banks to restrict access to home- equity lines. The Bush administration sent out tax rebate checks in the past three months to help support spending, which accounts for more than two-thirds of the economy. ``This is definitely showing some level of spending activity on the part of the consumer following the fiscal stimulus bounce,'' said Maxwell Clarke, chief U.S. economist at IDEAGlobal Inc. in New York. ``The impact of the stimulus has put our problems off for tomorrow.'' Economists forecast an increase of $6.3 billion in consumer credit, according to the median of 32 estimates in a survey conducted by Bloomberg News. Estimates ranged from gains of $3 billion to $8 billion. According to the Fed, total consumer borrowing accelerated at a 6.7 percent annual rate in June after gaining at a 3.8 percent pace the prior month. Retail Sales Revolving debt such as credit cards gained $5.5 billion and non-revolving debt, including auto loans, increased $8.8 billion for the month. Recent government reports indicate purchases are softening. Retail sales rose 0.1 percent in June, the smallest increase since February, while purchases excluding gasoline dropped. The U.S. Treasury sent almost $30 billion in tax rebates in June, part of a $168 billion economic stimulus plan President George W. Bush signed in February. Cars and light trucks sold in June at a 13.6 million annual pace, and weakened further to a 12.5 million rate in July, pushing the industry toward its worst year in more than a decade, according to Bloomberg estimates based on industry data. Lenders are reluctant to take risks in the aftermath of the collapse of the subprime mortgage market. Morgan Stanley, the second-biggest U.S. securities firm, told thousands of clients this week they won't be allowed to withdraw money on home-equity credit lines, according to a person familiar with the situation. Consumers fell behind on home-equity credit lines at the fastest pace in two decades in the first quarter, the American Bankers Association reported last month. American Express Co., the biggest U.S. credit-card company by purchases, in July withdrew its 2008 earnings forecast after second-quarter profit fell 37 percent on worse-than-expected consumer defaults. Yesterday, Chief Executive Officer Kenneth Chenault said the company will probably take a charge in the fourth quarter as it cuts jobs and trims expenses. ``Rising fuel prices, rising unemployment, record low consumer confidence and most critically, housing declines have made this economic cycle unlike any other,'' Chenault told analysts on Aug. 6 at the company's New York headquarters.