Consumer Borrowing in U.S. Rises at Slowest Pace in 10 Months

Consumer borrowing rose in November at the slowest pace in 10 months, reflecting a cutback in non-revolving loans to fund such things as college tuition.

The $14 billion increase in total credit followed a revised $15.6 billion gain in the previous month, Federal Reserve figures showed Friday. Non-revolving loans, which also include auto purchases, rose the least since February 2012.

At the same time, steady job growth made households more willing to carry larger credit-card balances as they started make their holiday purchases. Borrowing for autos may have cooled in December along with sales after purchases exceeded an 18 million rate in each of the previous three months.

Non-revolving loans increased $8.3 billion in November after a $15.5 billion advance a month earlier. Federal government lending to consumers, made up mostly of educational loans, increased $2 billion in November from the previous month before adjusting for seasonal variations. It was the smallest gain since February 2012.

Revolving debt, which includes credit cards, climbed $5.7 billion after a $64.9 million gain in October, the data showed.

The median forecast of 25 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for an $18 billion increase in total borrowing, with estimates ranging from gains of $14 billion to $21.5 billion. October credit was previously reported as rising $16 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.

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