U.S. Consumer Borrowing Up $20.8 Billion, Most in 10 months

American consumers increased their borrowing by $20.8 billion in September. It was the largest gain in 10 months and was led by a sharp increase in borrowing for auto and student loans.

The Federal Reserve says that September increase followed a gain of $13.8 billion in August and marks the largest monthly increase since a $24.5 billion jump in November 2016.

The category that covers auto and student loans rose by $14.4 billion, nearly double the $7.6 billion gain seen in August. The category that covers credit cards increased $6.4 billion, slightly better than the $5.5 billion August increase.

Consumer borrowing is closely watched for clues about the direction of consumer spending, which accounts for about 70 percent of economic growth.

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