Consumers borrowed more for 8th month in May

By MARTIN CRUTSINGER | July 8, 2011 | 3:14 PM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans borrowed more in May for the eighth straight month and used their credit cards more for only the second time in nearly three years.

The Federal Reserve says consumer borrowing rose $5.1 billion following a revised gain of $5.7 billion in April. Borrowing in the category that covers credit cards increased, as did borrowing in the category for auto and student loans.

The increase in credit card borrowing marked only the second monthly gain since August 2008. Since the financial crisis, consumers have been cutting back on the use of credit cards, which has depressed economic growth because it has held back consumer spending.