From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Consumer Borrowing Up $3.44 Billion: U.S. consumer borrowing increased for the eighth consecutive month in March, fueled by credit card use and auto borrowing, the Federal Reserve System said. The stronger than expected $3.44-billion gain in consumer credit, which excludes home equity loans, contributed to a 5.5% increase in the annual rate of borrowing. The Fed suggested that consumers felt confident enough about the economy in March to take on more debt. "Auto, revolving and other credit all advanced," the Fed said.

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