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RPT-U.S. consumer credit bounces back in August

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WASHINGTON, Oct 5 (Reuters) - U.S. consumer credit reboundedstrongly in August after posting its first decline in nearly ayear in July, Federal Reserve data showed on Friday.

The rebound would likely be interpreted as a short-term boonto growth, though it could bode ill for household balance sheetsif it is not accompanied by a rise in real wages, which havebeen stagnant.

U.S. consumer credit rose $18.12 billion, the biggest gainsince May, following July's revised $2.45 billion decline.Revolving credit, which mostly measures credit-card use, climbed$4.2 billion. Nonrevolving credit, which includes student andauto loans, rose $13.92 billion.

Credit has been expanding almost continuously since mid-2010as the country recovered from the 2007-2009 recession. Thedecline in July was the first drop since August of last year.

A sharp drop in the U.S. jobless rate to 7.8 percent inSeptember, reported on Friday by the Labor Department, suggestedthe economic recovery, while weak, continues to muddle along.

(Reporting By Pedro Nicolaci da Costa; Editing by NeilStempleman)

((Pedro.DaCosta@thomsonreuters.com))

Keywords: USA CONSUMERS/CREDIT