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Consumers cut back on credit cards

Americans cut back on credit card use in June, further evidence that high unemployment and slow growth has made consumers more cautious about spending.

Overall consumer borrowing rose because of increases in auto and student loans. The Federal Reserve says total borrowing increased 3 percent to $2.58 trillion in June from May. That’s just below the all-time high reached in July 2008.

Credit card debt fell 5 percent to $864.6 billion. A category of borrowing that includes auto and student loans increased 7 percent to $1.71 trillion.

Americans have been relying less on credit cards since the 2008 financial crisis and Great Recession. But much of that has been offset by a dramatic increase in student loans.


Newsstand magazine sales slide 10 percent

NEW YORK | U.S. magazine sales fell nearly 10 percent in the first half of 2012, a troubling sign for publishers that suggests Americans are still being careful about discretionary spending.

The Audit Bureau of Circulations said Tuesday that overall circulation, including subscriptions, was just about flat from a year earlier. But single-copy sales, which are more closely watched — because publishers make more money from them — continued to fall.

Subscriptions are typically sold at a discount, so publishers can increase their circulation and attract advertisers.

The industry group said that single-copy sales at newsstands and other retailers totaled 26.4 million in the first six months of 2012. That’s down from 29.1 million in the same period last year.

Cosmopolitan was still the top-selling magazine at newsstands, even though its sales fell nearly 16 percent to 1.4 million. Most of the top 25 best-selling magazines saw their sales decline. Family Circle and Woman’s Day were among the exceptions. Weight Watchers magazine saw the biggest sales decline — nearly 28 percent, to 325,950 copies in the first six months of the year.

• From wire dispatches and staff reports