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U.S. consumer credit rises, likely boosted by student loans

A group of students studies on the campus of San Francisco State University in San Francisco, California June 30, 2009. REUTERS/Robert Galbr
A group of students studies on the campus of San Francisco State University in San Francisco, California June 30, 2009. REUTERS/Robert Galbr

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. consumer credit rose more than expected in February, likely reflecting a surge in demand for student and automobile loans.

Total consumer credit increased by $16.49 billion to $3.13 trillion, the Federal Reserve said on Monday. January's consumer credit figure was revised to show a $13.80 billion increase instead of the previously reported $13.70 billion gain.

Economists polled by Reuters had expected consumer credit to rise by $14.09 billion in February.

Revolving credit, which mostly measures credit-card use, tumbled by $2.42 billion after January's $241-million drop. It was the second straight month of declines.

Nonrevolving credit, which includes auto loans as well as student loans made by the government, surged $18.91 billion in February. That was the biggest gain in a year and followed a $14.04 billion increase in January.

(Reporting by Lucia Mutikani; Editing by Paul Simao)

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