U.S. Consumer Debt Rises $13.2B in October

Lifestyle and Budget Associated Press

U.S. consumers increased their borrowing in October but at a slightly slower pace than in the previous month as credit card use slowed.

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The Federal Reserve says overall borrowing rose $13.2 billion following a $15.4 billion gain in September. The gains have pushed consumer debt excluding real estate loans to a record level of $3.28 trillion.

The category that includes credit card debt edged up by $922 million after a rise of $1.4 billion in September. The category that covers auto loans and student loans jumped by $12.3 billion after a $14 billion increase in September.

Economists expect that the strong gains in employment seen this year may make consumers more comfortable about increasing their use of credit cards, something they cut back on sharply following the Great Recession.