February 7, 2012 / 8:00 PM / 7 years ago

U.S. consumer credit rises $19.3 bln in December

WASHINGTON, Feb 7 - U.S. consumer credit expanded much more than expected in December, a positive signal for the economy as people borrowed money to buy cars and go to school.

Total consumer credit grew by $19.31 billion, more than twice the $7.7 billion increase that was expected by analysts in a Reuters poll.

Nonrevolving credit, which includes auto loans as well as student loans made by the government, accounted for the bulk of the increase as outstanding credit rose $16.55 billion during the month. That was the biggest increase since November 2001.

Revolving credit, which mostly measures credit-card use, rose by $2.76 billion in December.

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