U.S. consumer credit rose in July

A new report shows that consumer credit in the U.S. rose higher than expected in July.

Earlier this week, the Federal Reserve reported that credit balances increased by $19.1 billion this past July to a record level of $3.45 trillion. This is higher than originally expected, according to Bloomberg, as its survey of industry analysts yielded a median increase of $18.8 billion. July's numbers are down from June, which showed a $27 billion increase. 

According to the report, Americans are now more willing to borrow for large purchases, like cars, due to an improving job and housing market. 

Credit card debt, with is included in the Fed's revolving debt category, was up $4.3 billion after rising $7.5 billion in June. Non-revolving debt, like student and car loans, rose $14.8 billion following a $19.5 billion rise in the month prior.

In the past 12 months, consumer borrowing grew by 6.8 percent. While the majority of that increase can be attributed to a 7.9 percent increase in auto and student loans, credit cards rose by a respectable 3.9 percent.

After a poor first quarter of only 0.6 percent growth, the economy turned around in the second quarter, growing at an annual rate of 3.7 percent. Economist see the continual growth in borrowing as a positive sign for the economy and that, combined with positive expectations in the job market, have them estimating an average increase of 3 percent in the second half of the year.

The only type of loan the Fed's report does not include is home or other real estate loans. 

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