Americans' debt balances fell at an annualized rate of 2% between July and August, data from the Federal Reserve showed this afternoon.
Consumer credit -- including personal loans, car loans and credit card debt -- amounted to $4.14 trillion in August, down from $4.15 trillion in the month before.
It was the first decline since April, and economists polled by Refinitiv had expected another increase.
In the midst of the pandemic lockdown in the spring, consumer credit had collapsed as people stayed home -- and then recovered as the economy reopened.
America's economy runs on consumer spending, which is often fueled by personal debt such as credit cards or car loans. A lower loan volume could mean people are spending less, which is bad news for the recovery.