By Vicki Needham - 05/07/10 07:33 PM EDT
Consumer borrowing rose unexpectedly in March for the second time in three months as Americans spent more, fueling the nation's economic recovery.
Debt increased $2 billion, at a 1 percent annual rate to $2.451 trillion, following a revised $6.2 billion decline in February, according to a report released by the Federal Reserve on Friday.
Consumers continued to reduce their credit card debt, decreasing $3.2 billion or at an annual rate of 4.5 percent while non-revolving debt such as auto and student loans were up 4 percent in March, according to the report.
Spending could continue to increase as people find jobs. The economy added 290,000 jobs in April, the largest increase in four years bolstered by a majority -- 231,000 -- coming in the federal sector. Unemployment rose slightly to 9.9 percent the numbers of people looking for work grew.
Consumer spending grew by the fastest pace in three years during the first quarter, further signaling an economic recovery.