WASHINGTON – Americans increased their borrowing in March at the slowest pace in four months as people cut back on their credit card charges.
The Federal Reserve reported Friday that consumer borrowing rose at an annual rate of just 1.4 percent in March. That was down from a 2.5 percent pace in February and represented the smallest increase since November when consumers actually sliced their borrowing.
That moderation in March was led by a cutback in borrowing on credit cards.
Use of revolving credit, primarily credit cards, dipped at a 0.2 percent pace in March, following a tiny 0.1 percent growth rate in February.
Demand for nonrevolving credit, which includes loans for cars, vacation and education, went up at an annual rate of 2.4 percent in March. That was down from a 3.9 percent growth rate in February.
The slower growth in overall consumer credit comes as rising prices for gasoline and other energy products are straining the budgets of some families, economists said.