American consumers borrowed more than forecast in July, likely a sign that Americans are feeling confident enough to spend on big ticket items.
Total consumer credit, which does not include mortgage debt, rose by $16.6 billion compared with estimates of $113.9 billion, according to a report released Monday by the Federal Reserve. That translates into an annualized growth rate of 5.1 percent.
Revolving credit, which is mostly credit cards, rose 1.5 percent in July. Revolving credit had declined in June. Reversing that decline shows consumers are spending more freely.
Non-revolving credit, mostly auto and student loans, rose 6.4% in July after a 4% increase in the prior month.
The report is consistent with signs that the economy has continued to expand rapidly in the second half of the year.