Consumer Borrowing in U.S. Rises at Slowest Pace in Six Months

Consumer borrowing rose in August at the slowest pace in six months, reflecting a cooling in lending for autos and education.

The $16 billion increase in total credit followed a revised $18.9 billion gain in the previous month, Federal Reserve figures showed Wednesday. Non-revolving debt, which includes funding for college tuition and auto purchases, climbed by the least since November 2013.

Household borrowing probably accelerated last month as motor vehicle sales advanced to a 10-year high. Consumers have also shown a greater willingness to finance other purchases with credit cards, pointing to steady growth in spending as the job market improves.

The median forecast of 33 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for a $19.5 billion increase in credit after a previously reported $19.1 billion advance in July. Estimates ranged from gains of $13.5 billion to $23 billion.

The Fed’s consumer credit report doesn’t track debt secured by real estate, such as home equity lines of credit and home mortgages.

Non-revolving borrowing rose $12 billion in August after advancing $14.7 billion.

Revolving debt increased by $4 billion following a $4.2 billion advance, the data showed.

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