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Consumer Borrowing for Auto, Student Loans Increases in February

The increase in total borrowing tracked by the Federal Reserve surpassed economists’ predictions for the month.

Consumer borrowing tracked by the Federal Reserve increased more than economists’ expectations for the month of February, Bloomberg reports.

Total consumer borrowing increased $17.3 billion in February after a $14.9 billion gain in January, according to the article.

Non-revolving debt, including student and auto loans, increased $14.3 in February, according to the Federal Reserve’s monthly consumer credit report. However, it was the smallest gain in three months, according to Bloomberg.

January’s overall borrowing increases were minimal compared to December 2015, ACA International previously reported.

“Consumers, emboldened by increased hiring and cheap financing rates, are more willing to borrow for big-ticket purchases such as cars. At the same time, households have been wary of carrying large and unmanageable credit-card balance,” Bloomberg reports.

Revolving debt, including credit card purchases, in February increased $3 billion after a $243.7 million decrease in January.

Twenty-eight economists surveyed by Bloomberg predicted a $14.9 billion increase in total consumer borrowing in February, according to the article. Their predictions ranged between $5 and $20 billion, according to the article.

                                                       
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