U.S. consumer bankruptcies fall to 9-month low

* 114,587 filings in November, fewest since February

* Full-year consumer filings may be lower than thought

* Consumers reduce debt amid signs of stabilizing economy

NEW YORK, Dec 1 (BestGrowthStock) – The number of U.S. consumers
who filed for bankruptcy protection fell in November to a
nine-month low, amid signs that consumers are taking on less
debt and the economy may be stabilizing.

U.S. consumer bankruptcy filings totaled 114,587 in
November, down 13.3 percent from October and the fewest since
111,693 in February, according to the American Bankruptcy
Institute, a nonprofit research group. The number of filings,
however, rose 2.2 percent from 112,152 recorded last November.

Samuel Gerdano, executive director of the American
Bankruptcy Institute, a nonpartisan research group, reduced his
forecast for full-year U.S. consumer bankruptcy filings. He now
expects the total to approach 1.6 million, after saying on Nov.
8 that the total would likely exceed 1.6 million.

November’s total “is perhaps a positive step that the
deleveraging of the U.S. consumer may be underway, after years
of expanding consumer debt,” Gerdano said in a statement.

U.S. consumer credit outstanding had fallen for 18 out of
19 months before edging higher in September, the most recent
month for which Federal Reserve data is available.

The amount outstanding was $2.41 trillion in September,
down from $2.57 trillion in January 2009, the last month before
the declines began. September’s increase from August, though,
equated to just a 1.1 percent annualized rate.

Data released on Wednesday showed U.S. private sector
payrolls rose in November by the most in three years, while
factory activity that month remained well above the minimum
level to indicate a growing economy. [ID:nN01127417]

Goldman Sachs & Co on Wednesday raised its 2011 forecast
for real U.S. gross domestic product growth to 2.7 percent from
2 percent. [ID:nWEN3761]
(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Tim

U.S. consumer bankruptcies fall to 9-month low