Consumer borrowing rose in November by the largest monthly amount in 16 years, according to the Federal Reserve on Monday. Total consumer credit increased a solid $28 billion in November to a record seasonally adjusted $3.83 trillion, posting an annual growth rate of 8.8%. Economists had been expecting an $18 billion increase
What happened: Credit-card borrowing powered the increase. Revolving credit, which is mostly made up of credit-card loans, accelerated to an annual rate of 13.3% in November, the fastest pace since last December and well above the 9.9% gain in October. Non-revolving credit, which covers loans for education and cars, rose at an annual rate of 7.2% in November, the fastest pace since October 2016 and above the 5.3% rate in October. The data excludes mortgage debt.
Big picture: This is the third straight solid monthly gain in consumer borrowing. Economists said holiday-related consumer spending was strong to the end of November, providing a boost for credit card borrowing. Consumers now seem less reluctant to take on debt, which analysts view as a sign of strengthening consumer confidence.