Consumer borrowing up in June by most in 4 years

August 5, 2011 - 3:15 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans borrowed more money in June than during any month in nearly four years, relying on their credit cards and loans during a difficult economic stretch.

The Federal Reserve says consumers increased their borrowing by $15.5 billion in June. That's the largest one-month gain since August 2007 and three times the amount borrowed in May.

A category that measures credit card use increased by $5.2 billion. It was only the third increase since September 2008, during the height of the financial crisis. A category that includes auto loans rose by $10.3 billion.

Borrowing is usually a sign of confidence in the economy. Consumers tend to take on more debt when they feel wealthier. But an increase in credit card debt could also signal that people are falling on harder times.