US consumer borrowing up $18.2B in February

Friday, April 5, 2013, Vol. 37, No. 14

WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans borrowed more in February to buy cars and attend school, but were more careful with their credit cards.

The Federal Reserve says consumer borrowing rose $18.2 billion in February from January. That's up from a gain of $12.7 billion in the previous month.

The increase brought total borrowing to a seasonally adjusted $2.8 trillion. That's up from $2.78 trillion in January and a new record.

Nearly all of the gains were in a category that covers student and auto loans. That grew by $17.6 billion.

Consumers stayed cautious with their credit card debt. That category increased just $533 million after a gain of $1.7 billion in January. Since the recession, many have been reluctant to run up big credit card bills.