WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans increased their borrowing in August with the category that covers auto and student loans rising by the largest amount in nine months.
The Federal Reserve reported consumer debt rose by a seasonally adjusted $20.1 billion in August following a gain of $16.6 billion in July.
The August performance exceeded expectations. Many economists had been looking for a smaller increase of around $15 billion.
The gain was led by a $15.2 billion rise in auto loans and student loans, the biggest jump in this category since last November. The category that covers credit cards saw an increase of $4.8 billion, up from a $1.3 billion rise in July.
Consumer borrowing is closely watched for signals it sends about household spending which accounts for 70 percent of economic activity.