Consumers Borrowed More in December

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U.S. consumer borrowing rose in December, a hopeful sign for the strength of the economy although debt taken on through revolving facilities like credit cards fell during the month.

The Federal Reserve said on Thursday consumer credit increased by $14.59 billion in December after rising by a slightly revised $15.91 billion in November.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast consumer credit rising $13.4 billion after advancing by a previously reported $16.05 billion in November.

All of December's increase was in non-revolving credit, which includes auto loans as well as student loans made by the government.

Non-revolving credit increased $18.22 billion during the month, the largest expansion since November 2001.

Revolving credit, which includes credit cards, declined by $3.63 billion.