U.S. consumer borrowing rose in December, a hopeful sign for the strength of the economy although debt taken on through revolving facilities like credit cards fell during the month.
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The Federal Reserve said on Thursday consumer credit increased by $14.59 billion in December after rising by a slightly revised $15.91 billion in November.
Economists polled by Reuters had forecast consumer credit rising $13.4 billion after advancing by a previously reported $16.05 billion in November.
All of December's increase was in non-revolving credit, which includes auto loans as well as student loans made by the government. Non-revolving credit increased $18.22 billion during the month, the largest expansion since November 2001.
Revolving credit, which includes credit cards, declined by $3.63 billion.