BORROWING UP: Americans borrowed more money in July than any other month in more than three years. But they cut back on using their credit cards.
BIG REASON: Auto and student loans drove the borrowing gains. Auto sales picked up this summer, mostly because supply chain disruptions caused by the Japan crisis have begun to ease.
STILL LOW: Total consumer borrowing increased to a seasonally adjusted annual level of $2.45 trillion. That's barely 2 percent above the four-year low reached in September.