US consumer borrowing up $17.9 billion in August

visaThe Associated Press
FILE - This Aug. 11, 2019, photo shows a Chase Bank Slate credit card in New Orleans. On Monday, Oct. 7, the Federal Reserve releases its August report on consumer borrowing. (AP Photo/Jenny Kane, File)

Consumer borrowing increased at a solid pace in August, helped by the biggest jump in auto and student loans in three years.

The Federal Reserve says total credit rose $17.9 billion after a $23 billion increase in July.

The August strength came from a $19.8 billion increase in the category that covers auto and student loans. It was the biggest monthly advance since August 2016.

This strong gain offset a $1.9 billion drop in the category that covers credit cards.

Consumer borrowing is closely watched for signs it can provide about the strength of consumer spending.

The economy has been slowing this year due to headwinds from a slowdown in global growth and President Donald Trump's trade war with China, both of which have harmed American manufacturers.