WASHINGTON (AP) - Americans cut back sharply on their credit card purchases in April.
The Federal Reserve says consumers increased borrowing by $6.5 billion in April, just half of the March gain.
The gain was driven by a $9.96 billion rise in a category that includes auto and student loans. That offset a $3.4 billion drop in credit card debt, the first decline since January.
Total borrowing rose to a seasonally adjusted $2.55 trillion. That was slightly below the all-time high reached in July 2008, eight months after the Great Recession began.
Consumers had begun to use credit cards more often at the start of the year, which coincided with solid job gains this winter. But hiring slowed sharply in April and May, which may have prompted some to cut back on their use of plastic.
One economist says while consumers were reluctant to use their credit cards in April, they were still taking out more loans to finance car purchases and student tuition.
First Coast News