Consumers boost borrowing in Oct.
American consumers increased their borrowing by $20.5 billion in October. It was the biggest gain in 11 months and reflected strong increases in the use of credit cards and in auto and student loans.
The October followed a $19.2 billion gain in September and was the best showing since November 2016, the Federal Reserve reported Thursday.
The category that covers auto loans and student loans was up $12.2 billion, slightly slower than the $13.2 billion rise in September. Borrowing in the category that covers credit cards rose by $8.3 billion, up from a $6 billion increase in September and the strongest showing since November.
The solid gains were good signs for strength in consumer spending heading into the holiday shopping season. Consumer spending accounts for 70 percent of economic activity.