WASHINGTON – U.S. consumer credit rose less than expected in June, Federal Reserve data showed on Wednesday, as loans for items such as cars and education increased while credit card use fell by the most in a year.
Total consumer installment credit increased by $13.8 billion to $2.8 trillion. Economists polled by Reuters had expected consumer credit to rise $15 billion during the month.
"I think this report speaks to a well-functioning credit marketplace," said Ezra Becker, vice president of research and consulting at TransUnion in Chicago.
"Lenders are offering more credit, and consumers are using it without an over-reliance on credit."
Non-revolving credit, which includes loans for cars and college tuition, rose by $16.5 billion. Revolving facilities, which mostly measure credit card use, declined by $2.7 billion, the most since June 2012.
The report does not cover borrowing for homes, which has grown more expensive as mortgage rates rise on expectations the Fed will scale back its bond-buying program by the end of the year.
Still, demand for consumer lending strengthened across the board in the second quarter, including in the housing sector, according to the Federal Reserve survey of bank senior loan officers released Monday.
There were no signs in the Fed's report that higher bond yields were having a noticeable adverse affect on bank loans.
Non-revolving credit has been strong in recent years, driven by student loans that are issued by the government as part of the health care reform legislation.
Analysts worry a rapid rise in interest rates could undermine the economy's already sluggish recovery from the 2007-09 recession.
(Reporting by Paige Gance; Editing by Andrea Ricci and James Dalgleish)