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April 7, 2020, 3:13 p.m. EDT

U.S. consumer credit increased at faster pace in February

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By Greg Robb

Consumer borrowing accelerated in February before the coronavirus spread across the country, according to Federal Reserve data released Tuesday. Total consumer credit increased $22.3 billion. That's an annual growth rate of 6.4%, up from a 3.5% rate in the prior month. Economists has been expecting a $14.2 billion gain, according to Econoday. Revolving credit, like credit cards, rose 4.6% in February after a rare 2.7% decline in the prior month. Nonrevolving credit, typically auto and student loans, rose 7% after a 5.6% rate in the prior month. The data does not include mortgage loans. Economists will be watching spending data closing in coming months. The government is trying to replace income lost by workers and business after the country shut down in mid-March.

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