Debt levels jumped by nearly $42 billion to a total of almost $4.5 trillion. That’s an annual increase of 11.3%, seasonally adjusted, far outperforming economists’ expectations and setting a new high. In January, total credit had grown only 2.4%.
Revolving credit, which includes credit cards, jumped by 20.7% to about $1.1 trillion. The category increased by only 4% in the prior month.
Nonrevolving credit, such as student or car loans, grew by 8.4% to $3.4 trillion, also outpacing a smaller January gain.
Consumer spending has kept up the pace so far, but it is not immediately clear whether that’s because people are paying more for the same items that got more expensive or are actually buying more goods and services.