In yet another sign that the economy may be in retreat, consumers pulled back on their loans in October, the Federal Reserve said Friday.

The Fed said total consumer credit grew by $1.47 billion, after rising $2.84 billion in September.The slowdown in borrowing largely reflected a decline in auto credit, falling $785 million in October after sliding $21 million in September.

The rise in revolving credit also slowed in the month, growing just $1.56 billion compared with $2.31 billion in September.

Slowing growth in consumer credit is usually a sign of a weakening economy, with consumers buying less and paying off their existing debt. Sometimes, however, consumer credit can be misleading, with consumers adding to debt because they are unable to make full payments.