"America's global bank," as Citigroup Inc. was dubbed this year by its chief executive, has finally found something in America to be encouraged about.

For the first time since the company began crawling out of the loan distress accompanying the financial crisis, its quarterly net credit losses tied to consumer lending shrank faster in North America than in the rest of the world, perhaps signaling that the overseas recovery trends Citi has benefited from all year are finally starting to make landfall here.

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