U.S. Consumer Credit Increased by $16.43 Billion in March

By Sarah ChaneyFeaturesDow Jones Newswires

U.S. consumer borrowing rose in March, according to new data from the Federal Reserve.

Outstanding consumer credit, a measure of non-real estate debt, rose by $16.43 billion in March from the prior month, climbing at a 5.2% seasonally adjusted annual rate, the Fed said Friday. Total outstanding credit had increased at a 4.4% rate in February.

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Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal expected a $13.0 billion increase in March.

Revolving credit outstanding, mostly credit cards, increased at a 2.4% annual pace in March. Nonrevolving credit outstanding, mainly student and auto loans, rose at a 6.2% annual pace.

Household balance sheets have been growing since late 2010.

U.S. consumer confidence data has remained high following the November presidential election. But hard data comprising reports that measure actual economy activity, like retail sales, have been running far behind the sentiment numbers.

The Federal Reserve's latest report on consumer credit can be accessed at: https://www.federalreserve.gov/releases/g19/current/

Write to Sarah Chaney at sarah.chaney@wsj.com

(END)Dow Jones Newswires

May 05, 2017 15:15 ET (19:15 GMT)