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Published: Tuesday, 5/8/2012

Consumer debt rises by $21.4B in month


WASHINGTON — U.S. consumer debt rose by $21.4 billion in March from February to a seasonally adjusted $2.54 trillion, the Federal Reserve said Monday. The one-month increase was the seventh consecutively and the largest since November, 2001.

A measure of auto and student loans increased by $16.2 billion. A separate gauge of mostly credit-card debt rose $5.2 billion after declining in January and February.

The total borrowing was slightly below the record of $2.58 trillion reached in July, 2008.

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