US consumer borrowing rises at weak pace again

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. consumers borrowed at a modest pace in February for the second month in a row, evidence of ongoing caution that has kept a lid on spending this year.

The Federal Reserve says borrowing rose at a 5.8 percent annual rate, only slightly above January's 5 percent pace. January's climb was the smallest in more than two years. The use of revolving credit — mostly credit cards — rose just 3.7 percent after slipping in January.

Americans barely increased their spending in February. More hiring and cheaper gas may have also reduced some consumers' need for credit cards.

The borrowing figures include student and auto loans, as well as credit card debt. They exclude housing-related debt such as mortgages and home equity lines of credit, and other housing-related debt.