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Report: Education and auto lending rise again in April

Jun 10, 2011 Brian Bradley

A greater demand for school and auto loans is thought to be the reason behind April's rise in consumer borrowing, according to the Associated Press. A recent report by the United States Federal Reserve indicated that consumers' credit decisions resulted in a 3.1 percent increase - an equivalent of nearly $7.2 billion. The borrowing increase in April exceeded that of March's, which totaled more than $6 billion. However, the report - which excluded mortgages and other loans tied to real estate - also revealed that credit card use fell again in April, continuing its downward trend. It has only risen twice since August 2008. The majority of economists have said they expect borrowing to increase this year, but this may not necessarily be an indicator of growth. According to analysts, the borrowing gains were largely driven by people taking out loans related to advancing their education in response to the weak economy. "When you take out student loans, you're still seeing credit card use - and borrowing overall - falling," said Paul Dales, chief U.S. economist at Capital Economics, who was quoted by the news source. "That’s a sign about how people view the economy."