Credit card spending up


SCOTT JAGOW: I don't know if it's gas prices or what, but Americans are stuffing more money on credit cards these days. A new report from the Federal Reserve says borrowing jumped almost six percent in April. Marketplace's Tess Vigeland has more.

TESS VIGELAND: It was the biggest uptick in borrowing in 10 months and followed a measly eight-tenths percent gain in March. We put more money on our credit cards and took out more car loans.

Total consumer credit now stands at a record $2.17 trillion not including mortgages.

Mark Zandi of says the Federal Reserve may be partly responsible for the numbers in its own survey.

MARK ZANDI: The pickup in credit card debt may reflect the fact that people are turning back to their cards after many years of not using those cards. They've been borrowing by taking out equity from their homes. Now with rates up people may be in fact turning back to their cards.

That may change when the figures for May come out next month.

Economists expect high gas prices to start eating into what we spend on other things. Surveys have shown a decline in consumer confidence as Americans pay more and more for energy.

I'm Tess Vigeland for Marketplace.

About the author

Tess Vigeland is the host of Marketplace Money, where she takes a deep dive into why we do what we do with our money.


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