The U.S. asset-backed market witnessed modest issuance volumes last week, as the cost of borrowing went up again, and a Federal Reserve survey revealed that Americans were borrowing more heavily than before. Against the backdrop of a one-quarter of a percentage point hike that put the Federal Funds rate at 4.75%, the U.S. asset securitization market issued about $10.5 billion by press time last week.

The Federal Reserve's Triennial Survey of Consumer Income, which assesses consumer income, asset, liability and net worth data, suggested that Americans increased all kinds of borrowings significantly from 2001 through 2004, but that for the most part, they could afford to keep paying off their new debts. Overall, the new level of debt payments to income is compatible with underwriting standards from prime lenders, according to Citigroup Global Markets' Bond Market Roundup: Strategy.

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