This Oct. 8, 2019, photo shows a Chase Sapphire card in New York. On Friday, Dec. 6, The Federal Reserve releases its report on consumer borrowing for October. (AP Photo/Jenny Kane)

Consumer borrowing increases with higher credit card use

December 06, 2019 - 3:06 pm

WASHINGTON (AP) — Consumer borrowing rose in October by the largest amount in three months, reflecting a big rebound in the category that includes credit cards.

The Federal Reserve said Friday that borrowing increased by a seasonally adjusted $18.9 billion in October, up from a September increase of $9.6 billion.

The increased reflected a jump in use of credit cards, which rose by $7.9 billion after a small $187 million increase in September and an actual decline in August.

The category that covers auto loans and student loans increased by $11 billion, up from a gain of $9.4 billion in September.

Consumer credit is closely watched indications of households' willingness to keep borrowing to finance consumer spending, which accounts for 70% of economic activity.

The expectation is that consumer spending will continue to be a driving force in the expansion, helping to offset weakness in such areas as business investment.

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