Growth in US consumer borrowing slows sharply in last month of 2016


WASHINGTON — Consumers increased their borrowing in December at the slowest pace in six months, as growth in credit card usage decelerated sharply.

Total borrowing rose US$14.2 billion in December, smaller than November’s increase of $25.2 billion, the Federal Reserve reported Tuesday. Borrowing in the category that covers auto loans and student loans rose by US$11.8 billion, just slightly below the $13.4 billion increase in November.

But borrowing in the category that covers credit cards slowed to a gain of just US$2.4 billion after a surge of US$11.8 billion in November. It was the weakest showing since credit card debt fell last February.