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US consumers increased borrowing by $11.1 billion in April, led by student and auto loans

Americans borrowed more in April to attend college and buy cars and were a little less cautious with their credit cards than the previous month.

The Federal Reserve says consumer borrowing rose $11.1 billion in April from March to a seasonally adjusted $2.82 trillion. That's the 20th straight monthly gain and another record level.

Nearly all of the gain came from a category that includes auto and student loans, which increased $10.4 billion. A measure of credit card use rose $682 million. While that's only a modest gain, it follows a decline of $906 million for the category in March.

Steady gains in borrowing could help boost consumer spending, which accounts for 70 percent of economic activity.