Consumers borrowed more in May, though pace of growth slowed

Jim Puzzanghera
Contact ReporterThis post has been corrected, as indicated below.
Continued strong monthly growth in consumer borrowing bodes well for a second-quarter economic rebound

Americans borrowed $19.6 billion more in May in consumer credit, although growth slowed from the previous month's torrid pace, the Federal Reserve said Tuesday.

Outstanding consumer credit, which includes auto and student loans as well as credit card balances, rose at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 7.5% in May to $3.19 trillion.



A previous version of this post said outstanding consumer credit rose to $3.19 billion. It rose to $3.19 trillion.


The strong pace fell short of April, when consumers expanded their borrowing by about $26.1 billion, or a seasonally adjusted annual rate of about 10%.

Consumer credit does not include mortgages.

Economists had expected a $17.5 billion increase in consumer borrowing in May.

The increased borrowing is a positive sign for economic growth in the second quarter.

Analysts forecast a strong rebound after the economy contracted 2.9% in the first quarter as extreme weather closed businesses and chilled spending.

Non-revolving credit, such as auto loans, rose $17.8 billion in May after a $17.3 billion increase the previous month.

Revolving credit, which is largely credit card debt, rose $1.8 billion in May after jumping $8.9 billion the previous month.

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