WASHINGTON – American consumers increased their borrowing in July, though the category that includes credit cards grew at the slowest pace since February.
The Federal Reserve says consumer borrowing rose by $17.7 billion in July, up from a $14.5 billion increase in June.
Revolving credit, which covers credit cards, rose by $2.8 billion, down from $9.2 billion in June and least since February's $2.2 billion. The category that includes auto and student loans increased by $14.9 billion.
Consumer spending accounts for about 70 percent of U.S. economic activity and was one of the few sources of strength in the first quarter, when the economy expanded at a lackluster 1.1 percent annual pace.
Consumers have been encouraged by a solid labor market. Employers have added 204,000 jobs a month over the past year.