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Americans increased their borrowing to a record of $14.6 trillion in March, driven by home and auto loans. But the growth masked what Federal Reserve Bank of New York researchers called a “confounding” decline in credit-card balances during a quarter when retail sales soared and travel resumed.

The New York Fed report, the first snapshot of household balance sheets as the economy started to rebound from the pandemic, shows that mortgage, auto and student loan balances have continued to increase. So did the quality of new borrowers, many of whom were taking advantage of low-interest rates to refinance their home loans.

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