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Consumer borrowing surged 10% in November

Consumer borrowing increased at an annual rate of 10% in November, the largest jump in a decade, as Americans became more comfortable using their credit cards heading into the holiday season, as well as taking out auto and student loans, the Federal Reserve reported Monday.

Overall consumer credit surged $20.4 billion in November from the previous month to $2.48 trillion. The percentage increase as the largest since an 18.4% jump in November 2001.

The figures include most short- and medium-term credit, but not mortgages or home-equity loans.

Outstanding credit card debt increased 8.5% in November, while non-revolving debt such as car loans increased 10.7%, the Federal Reserve said.

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With the exception of a 5% drop in consumer credit in August, when consumer confidence also plunged on European debt fears, borrowing has been up every month in 2011 as the economy has been recovering.

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