US Consumer Borrowing Gains Slow in February

US Consumer Borrowing Gains Slow in February

US consumer borrowing gains slow in February with weaker increases in auto and student loans.

WASHINGTON — Consumer borrowing rose at a slower pace in February as the increase in auto and student loans was the slowest in eight months.

The Federal Reserve reports that borrowing increased by $15.2 billion in February, down from a gain of $17.7 billion in January.

Borrowing for auto loans and student loans rose by $12.2 billion, the smallest gain since last June. Borrowing for credit card debt rose by $2.95 billion, the biggest increase since November.

The overall increases pushed consumer borrowing to a new record of $4.05 trillion.

Household borrowing is watched for signs of how confident consumers are in taking on more debt to finance their spending, which accounts for 70 percent of economic activity.

Consumer spending is expected to rebound this quarter following a slowdown during the winter.

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