Advertisement

Consumer borrowing in March saw largest increase in more than a year

Consumer borrowing in March saw largest increase in more than a year
Federal regulators said the four people who ran Asset Capital and Management Group, which also did business under several other names, "employed an assortment of deceptive and abusive tactics" to collect past-due credit card debts. (Elise Amendola / Associated Press)

Consumers increased their borrowing in March by the largest amount in more than a year in a sign of increased economic growth this spring.

Outstanding consumer credit, which includes credit card balances and auto and student loans, jumped $17.5 billion in March from the previous month to a record $3.14 trillion, the Federal Reserve said Wednesday.

The figure was a major uptick from February's increase, which was revised sharply downward to $13 billion from an initial estimate of $16.5 billion.

Economists were expecting consumer credit to rise $15.1 billion in March. The $17.5-billion increase was the most since February 2013.

Advertisement

So-called revolving credit, which is largely credit card debt, rebounded in March to a $1.6-billion increase after dropping a revised $3.8 billion in February.

Nonrevolving credit, such as auto loans and student loans, climbed $8.7 billion in March. It had risen $8.4 billion the previous month.

Consumer credit declined from 2009 through mid-2010 as Americans dealt with the Great Recession and its aftermath. But overall outstanding credit has been rising fairly steadily since then.

Advertisement
Advertisement