Con­sumer bor­row­ing surges again in April

Los Angeles Times - - BUSINESS BEAT - As­so­ci­ated press

Con­sumer bor­row­ing surged again in April, helped by the largest gain in credit card bor­row­ing in a year.

Con­sumer bor­row­ing ex­panded by $20.5 bil­lion in April, the Fed­eral Re­serve re­ported Fri­day. That was down only slightly from a gain of $21.3 bil­lion in March, the big­gest in­crease in eight months. The strong gains pushed con­sumer credit to a fresh record of $3.38 tril­lion.

Bor­row­ing in the cat­ego- ry that in­cludes credit cards jumped $8.6 bil­lion, the largest rise in 12 months.

Bor­row­ing in the cat­e­gory that cov­ers auto and stu­dent loans ad­vanced a solid $11.9 bil­lion, af­ter an even big­ger $16.5-bil­lion in­crease in March.

Econ­o­mists ex­pect that con­sumers, who have seen strong job gains over the last year, will keep bor­row­ing and spend­ing in com­ing months, help­ing to boost eco­nomic growth.

The over­all cat­e­gory is up 6.6% from a year ear­lier.

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