Slower Consumer Credit as People Use Plastic Less

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Consumer credit recorded its smallest increase in eight months in March as Americans cut back on credit cards to fund purchases, Federal Reserve data showed Tuesday.

Total consumer installment credit rose by $7.97 billion to $2.81 trillion, the smallest rise since July. Economists polled by Reuters had expected a solid $16 billion increase in March.

Revolving credit, which primarily measures use of credit cards, fell $1.71 billion after rising $453 million in February. Nonrevolving credit, which includes student loans made by the government and auto loans, was up $9.68 billion following an $18.18 billion increase in February.