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Published: Wednesday, 2/8/2012

Consumer borrowing up for 2nd month in row


WASHINGTON — Americans accelerated their borrowing in December for the second straight month, running up more credit card debt and taking out loans to buy cars and attend school, the Federal Reserve said Tuesday.

Consumer borrowing rose by $19.3 billion in December after a $20.4 billion gain in November, the Fed reported. The monthly gains were the biggest in a decade.

Total consumer borrowing is at a seasonally adjusted $2.5 trillion, nearly matching the prerecession level.

The Federal Reserve’s borrowing report excludes mortgages, home equity loans, and other loans tied to real estate.

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