Consumers increased their borrowing in December, with the category that includes credit cards rising at the fastest pace in eight months. That could be an indication that consumer spending will strengthen as strong jobs gains give shoppers more confidence about taking on debt.
The Federal Reserve says that consumer borrowing rose by $14.8 billion in December, an acceleration from November when borrowing had increased by $13.5 billion. The increase pushed consumer debt to a record $3.31 trillion in December.
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The December rise included a $5.8 billion jump in the category that includes credit cards, marking the biggest gain since April.
Consumer borrowing in the category that includes auto loans and student loans also rose in December, climbing $9 billion after a $14.4 billion increase in November.