NEW YORK—U.S. consumer borrowing unexpectedly fell in August as credit card balances declined for a sixth consecutive month with the coronavirus pandemic continuing to limit some purchases amid elevated unemployment.
Total credit decreased $7.2 billion from the prior month after an upwardly revised $14.7 billion July gain, Federal Reserve figures showed. The median estimate in a Bloomberg survey of economists called for a $14 billion increase in August, Bloomberg said.
The decline in revolving credit to a three-year low indicates the pace of consumer spending growth is moderating after outsized gains immediately followed the gradual lifting of restrictions on businesses and individuals, Bloomberg said.
“The expiration of a $600 weekly supplemental benefit for the unemployed may have also played a role in the drop in consumer charges,” Bloomberg added.