U.S. Consumer Borrowing Rose More Than Forecast in September
A pedestrian carries shopping bags in the Herald Square area of New York. (Photographer: Nina Westervelt/Bloomberg)

U.S. Consumer Borrowing Rose More Than Forecast in September

U.S. consumer borrowing rose in September by twice as much as forecast, reflecting an acceleration in non-revolving credit such as auto loans and the first pickup in credit-card balances in seven months.

Total credit increased $16.2 billion from the prior month after a revised $6.9 billion drop in August, Federal Reserve figures showed Friday. The figure topped all estimates in a Bloomberg survey of economists that had called for an $8 billion rise.

Overall, consumer credit totaled $4.16 trillion, inching closer to February’s record $4.21 trillion level, the central bank’s latest figures show.

The improvement in revolving credit was in line with retail sales growth and indicates spending is picking up after moderating in July and August, while the gain in non-revolving credit -- which includes vehicle and school loans -- underscores recent auto sales strength.

Non-revolving debt climbed $12.2 billion to $3.17 trillion, while revolving credit increased by almost $4 billion to $989 billion.

Lending by the federal government, which is mainly for student loans, rose by $8.4 billion before seasonal adjustment. The report doesn’t track debt secured by real estate, such as home mortgages.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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