WASHINGTON – U.S. consumers increased their debt by just 3.3 percent in February, the weakest monthly change in nearly seven years despite an otherwise healthy economy.
The Federal Reserve said consumer borrowing rose $10.6 billion in March to $3.9 trillion. The gains have slowed sharply from a 10.3 percent jump in debt levels in November.
A category of debt that includes credit cards ticked up less than 0.2 percent to $1 trillion. It was the smallest increase since November 2013, when revolving credit levels fell nearly $1.7 billion.
Borrowing in a separate category that includes auto and student loans increased $10.5 billion to $2.8 trillion, the smallest gain in five months.
Consumer borrowing is a key metric for evidence of strength in consumer spending.
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