Consumer credit in the U.S. rose more than projected in July, boosted by bigger credit-card balances and loans for automobiles.
The $19.1 billion increase followed a $27 billion gain in the prior month that was larger than previously estimated, Federal Reserve figures showed Tuesday. The median forecast in a Bloomberg survey called for an $18.8 billion advance.
Americans are becoming more willing to borrow for large-ticket purchases such as cars as the job market strengthens, home values rise and household finances improve. Sustained demand for credit highlights steady-as-she-goes consumer spending, which accounts for about 70 percent of the economy.
Estimates in the Bloomberg survey of 34 economists ranged from gains of $15 billion to $24 billion. The June reading was previously reported as an advance of $20.7 billion.
The Fed’s consumer credit report doesn’t track debt secured by real estate, such as home equity lines of credit and home mortgages.
Revolving debt, which includes credit cards, rose by $4.3 billion following a $7.5 billion increase, the Fed report showed.
Non-revolving debt, such as that for college tuition and the purchase of vehicles and mobile homes, climbed $14.8 billion after a $19.5 billion surge.