US consumer borrowing likely posted another strong gain in May

The Federal Reserve releases its May report on consumer borrowing at 3 p.m. Eastern Tuesday.

STRONG BORROWING: The expectation is that consumers increased borrowing by $18.5 billion in May, according to a survey of economists by data firm FactSet.

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CREDIT GAINS: That would be down only slightly from gains of $20.5 billion in April and $21.3 billion in March. The March advance was the biggest in eight months.

Economists expect consumers, who have seen strong job gains over the past year, to keep borrowing and spending in coming months, helping to lift the economy to stronger growth.

The overall economy, as measured by the gross domestic product, shrank at an annual rate of 0.2 percent in the January-March quarter but economists believe that growth rebounded in the April-June quarter to around 2.5 percent and should strengthen further in the second half of this year to rates around 3 percent.