Sep 9, 2020 - Economy

Consumers increased borrowing in July but are still holding back

Illustration of a pair of cupped hands holding a pile of money, with some falling through

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Total consumer borrowing rose in July, as Americans increased purchases of new vehicles and borrowed for college tuition for the second month in a row, the Fed's latest credit report shows.

By the numbers: Outstanding consumer credit increased by $12.3 billion in July from the month before, a 3.6% increase. Credit rose at a revised 3.3% annual rate in June.

  • The use of credit has risen for the past two months after declining from March through May, and sinking by 6.6% in the second quarter, including a 30.8% fall in revolving credit, which follows credit cards and similar consumer credit lines.

Yes, but: Revolving credit continued to fall, down 0.4% in July after a 2.2% decline in June and a 27.9% decline in May, as consumers continued to hold back on credit spending.

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