WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans increased their borrowing by a solid amount in September. But the gain was less than half the big August surge as borrowing in the category that includes credit cards fell.

The Federal Reserve says consumer borrowing rose by a seasonally adjusted $10.9 billion following a gain of $22.9 billion in August. That had been the strongest increase in nine months.

The September increase was below economists' expectations for a $16.5 billion gain. The category that covers auto loans and student loans rose a solid $11.2 billion. The category for credit cards fell by $311.6 million after having risen $4.6 billion in August.

Consumer borrowing is closely tracked for signs of consumers' willingness to take on more debt to finance their purchases.

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