As economy reopened, US consumer borrowing surged in May

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July 8, 2021 GMT

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. consumer borrowing surged by $35.3 billion in May as Americans, bolstered by a reopening economy and rising job levels, went back to using credit in a big way.

Borrowing on credit cards and for auto and student loans showed solid gains in May, the Federal Reserve reported Thursday. It marked the fourth straight month of strong growth in consumer borrowing and followed an April advance of $20 billion.

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The May borrowing total was driven by a $26.1 billion increase in the category that includes auto and student loans, which followed a $21 billion rise in that category in April.

The category that covers credit cards saw a $9.2 billion rise in May, the strongest advance since a $10.9 billion increase in January 2020 before the economy was laid low by a global pandemic.

Consumers’ use of credit cards has been falling since early 2020 as households cut back on their use of credit in the face of the pandemic-triggered recession.