Female customer giving credit card at cash counter to salesperson. Horizontal shot.
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By Jason Lange

U.S. consumer credit surged in April as Americans ramped up their use of credit cards, a potentially positive sign for consumer spending.

Total consumer credit increased by $26.85 billion to $3.18 trillion, the Federal Reserve said on Friday. That meant consumer debt was growing at a 10.2 percent annual rate, the fastest pace of growth since July 2011.

Analysts polled by Reuters expected a more modest increase during the month of $15.5 billion.

Revolving credit, which mostly measures credit-card use, jumped by $8.8 billion. Americans had not added that much revolving debt in any one month since November 2007.

Non-revolving credit, which includes auto loans as well as student loans made by the government, rose $18.0 billion in April.


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