WASHINGTON – Consumers increased their borrowing in December at the slowest pace in six months, as growth in credit card usage decelerated sharply.
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The Federal Reserve says total borrowing rose $14.2 billion in December, a slowdown from November's increase of $25.2 billion. Borrowing in the category that covers auto loans and student loans rose by $11.8 billion, just slightly below the $13.4 billion increase in November.
But borrowing in the category that covers credit cards slowed to a gain of just $2.4 billion after a surge of $11.8 billion in November. It was the weakest showing since credit card debt had fallen last February.
The big November gain in credit card debt had been viewed as a good sign at the start of the holiday shopping season.