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Consumer borrowing rises, led by more auto and student loans

November 8, 2019 8:37 am
Photo shows credit cards in New Orleans. On Thursday, Nov. 7, the Federal Reserve releases its August report on consumer borrowing for September. (AP Photo/Jenny Kane)

Consumer borrowing rose in September at a modest pace, led by higher student and auto loans, though a category that mostly includes credit cards fell for the second straight month.

The Federal Reserve says that overall consumer borrowing increased by 2.8% to $4.15 trillion. A category that covers student and auto loans rose 4.2%, while credit card debt fell 1.2%.

Americans are spending at a solid pace but in recent months have relied less on borrowing. Steady, if modest, income growth has enabled consumers to shop more while also stepping up saving. A separate government report showed that spending rose in September, but incomes increased more, lifting the savings rate to 8.3%, the highest in six months.

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Consumer borrowing is closely watched for signs about the strength of consumer spending.

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