Chart showing consumer debt has fallen during the pandemic.

Consumers were carrying the lowest credit card balances in March ever recorded by TransUnion, but it expects balances will begin rising this year as consumers become more confident in the economic recovery, according to a report released Wednesday by the Chicago credit reporting and analytics company.

Consumer borrowing via credit cards, unsecured personal loans and automobiles fell precipitously after COVID-19 was declared a pandemic in March 2020.

Matt Komos, TransUnion’s head of research and consulting in the U.S., said automobile lending has begun recovering, hindered more by supply than demand. Credit cards and personal loans are still low, but credit inquiries and economic indicators are signaling a stronger spending in the months ahead.

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Jim DuPlessis

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