American Borrowers Are Getting Closer to Maxing Out

A happy holiday shopping season might not end up being an especially cheery time for lenders.

Card loans are still growing, on average rising 1.6% in October over September across five big U.S. card lenders, versus a seasonally typical 0.7% increase, according to tracking of the latest monthly data by analysts at Goldman Sachs. The trend suggests that consumers still are willing and able to use their cards, portending well for retailers. U.S. retail sales slowed in October, but by less than feared, and were still at an overall solid level. Some retail stocks have jumped recently on hopes for holiday shopping.

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