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U.S. Consumer Borrowing Slows

Americans’ borrowing inched up in March by the smallest amount so far this year (Bloomberg).

What’s going on: “Total credit increased $6.3 billion after an upwardly revised $15 billion gain in February, according to Federal Reserve data released Tuesday. The March figure was below all but one estimate in a Bloomberg survey of economists.”

  • Revolving credit, including credit cards, rose $152 million, the smallest increase in three years.
  • Meanwhile, nonrevolving credit, including school tuition and vehicle-purchase loans, rose $6.1 billion.
  • The figures aren’t adjusted for inflation.

What it could mean: “The small rise in revolving credit balances, if sustained, could represent a healthy development for consumer finances going forward.”

  • However, consumers could start relying more on credit as they deplete pandemic-era savings. 
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