WASHINGTON (AP) – Consumers increased their borrowing in November at the fastest pace in three months.
The Federal Reserve reported Monday that total borrowing in November climbed $24.5 billion, compared to a smaller $16.2 billion in October. The increase pushed total debt to a fresh record of $3.75 trillion.
The acceleration reflected a big jump in the category that covers credit card debt, which rose $11 billion, compared to a much smaller $2.4 billion increase in October. It was the largest monthly advance since March and was a good sign at the start of the holiday shopping season.
Growth in the category that covers auto loans and student loans slowed a bit in November, showing a rise of $13.5 billion after a $13.8 billion increase in October.
Patterns in consumer credit are closely watched by economists for clues they can provide about consumer spending, which accounts for 70 percent of economic activity.