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Consumer credit jumps at 3.8% annual rate in Feb.

Consumer credit jumps at 3.8% annual rate in Feb. (by Greg Robb)

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) -- U.S. consumers increased their debt by a seasonally adjusted 3.8% annual rate in February, the fifth straight monthly increase and the largest since June 2008, the Federal Reserve reported Thursday. Total consumer debt increased $7.62 billion to $2.42 trillion in February. The gain was larger than Wall Street had expected. Consumer credit for January was revised down to a $4.4 billion increase compared with the initial estimate of a $5 billion rise. The increase in debt in February came despite a drop in credit card debt, which fell $2.7 billion or at a 4.1% annual rate. Non-revolving credit, such as auto loans, personal loans and student loans, rose $10.3 billion, or at a 7.7% rate, after an $8.3 billion rise in the prior month.