Americans reduced their credit card debt marginally in January, likely a result of both winter storms and expiring unemployment benefits.
Revolving debt, 98 percent which includes credit card debt, fell at a seasonally adjusted annual pace of 0.3 percent in January, according to the Federal Reserve's G.19 Consumer Credit report. The category decreased by an estimated $226 million, following a $3.1 billion increase in December 2013.
Borrowing for student and auto loans increased by $13.9 billion in January compared to a $12.8 billion increase in December, according to the Fed.
The combined results led to a $13.7 billion increase in total consumer borrowing for January compared to $15.9 billion in December 2013. January's pullback came despite stronger-than-expected consumer spending. The 0.4 percent gain in personal consumption expenditures during the month was four times analysts' consensus estimate.
Student loan growth had been decelerating for the past 11 months before the January growth. Non-revolving credit growth had been decelerating for the past four months before January's uptick.
The shrinking debt load reversed course from a revised 4.3 percent increase in December. The Fed had initially estimated that December's revolving debt load leaped at a 7 percent rate, even after adjusting for seasonal spending.