) -- Consumer credit fell at a faster pace in September, signaling that consumers are still focused on reducing debt and cutting back on their spending.

The Federal Reserve announced that consumer debt fell by $14.8 billion during the month, significantly more than the $10 billion economists forecast.

September consumer credit outstanding fell at a 7.19% annual rate to $2.46 trillion, its eight consecutive monthly decline.

The concern, of course, is that the more consumers save, the less they are spending -- then again, pent-up demand, money in the bank and freed-up credit cards could ultimately help spur sales for the holidays.

-- Reported by Jeanine Poggi in New York

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