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United States consumer borrowing up $12.3 billion in November

By Josh Boak

Associated Press

Published: Wednesday, Jan. 8 2014 1:22 p.m. MST

In this Friday, Nov. 29, 2013, file photo, shoppers ride escalators between floors during Black Friday shopping at Macy's, in Chicago. The Federal Reserve reports how much consumers borrowed in November on Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2014.

Andrew A. Nelles, Associated Press

Enlarge photo»

WASHINGTON — Americans increased their borrowing in November, led by continued gains in auto and student loans.

The Federal Reserve says consumers increased their borrowing by $12.3 billion in November to a seasonally adjusted $3.09 trillion. That is a record level and follows an October increase of $17.9 billion.

Almost all of the November increase came from an $11.9 billion rise in borrowing for auto loans and student loans.

Borrowing in the category that covers credit cards ticked up only $457.8 million after surging in October.

Credit card borrowing plunged after the Great Recession and consumers remain cautious about taking on high-interest debt. It has gradually increased to its highest level in more than three years, but it's still 16 percent below its peak of more than $1 trillion reached in 2008.

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