US consumer borrowing gains slow in February


WASHINGTON (AP) — Consumer borrowing rose at a slower pace in February as the increase in auto and student loans was the slowest in eight months.

Borrowing increased by $15.2 billion in February, down from a gain of $17.7 billion in January, the Federal Reserve reported Friday.

Borrowing for auto loans and student loans rose by $12.2 billion, the smallest gain since last June. Borrowing for credit card debt rose by $2.95 billion, the biggest increase since November.

The overall increases pushed consumer borrowing to a new record of $4.05 trillion.

Household borrowing is watched for signs of how confident consumers are in taking on more debt to finance their spending, which accounts for 70 percent of economic activity.

Trump Celebrates as He Gets Major Win from Supreme Court

Consumer spending is expected to rebound this quarter following a slowdown during the winter.

The Labor Department reported Friday that employers added a solid 196,000 jobs in March, up sharply from the February gain. Analysts saw the job gains as a good sign that borrowing and spending should post good gains in coming months.

The overall economy, as measured by the gross domestic product, slowed to a modest annual rate of 2.2 percent in the fourth quarter with economists believing growth slowed further to around 1.5 percent in the current quarter. But they are forecasting a rebound to around 2.3 percent GDP growth in the current April-June quarter.

The Fed’s monthly report on consumer credit does not cover mortgages or other loans secured by real estate such as home equity loans.

The Western Journal has not reviewed this Associated Press story prior to publication. Therefore, it may contain editorial bias or may in some other way not meet our normal editorial standards. It is provided to our readers as a service from The Western Journal.

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction →

We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

The Associated Press is an independent, not-for-profit news cooperative headquartered in New York City. Their teams in over 100 countries tell the world’s stories, from breaking news to investigative reporting. They provide content and services to help engage audiences worldwide, working with companies of all types, from broadcasters to brands. Photo credit: @AP on Twitter
The Associated Press was the first private sector organization in the U.S. to operate on a national scale. Over the past 170 years, they have been first to inform the world of many of history's most important moments, from the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and the bombing of Pearl Harbor to the fall of the Shah of Iran and the death of Pope John Paul.

Today, they operate in 263 locations in more than 100 countries relaying breaking news, covering war and conflict and producing enterprise reports that tell the world's stories.
New York City