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U.S. consumer credit growth held back by credit card decline

A coffee shop displays signs for Visa, MasterCard and Discover, in Washington, May 1, 2013. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. consumer credit grew in January but was held back by a contraction in credit card usage that could be a negative sign for the economy.

Total consumer credit rose by $13.7 billion to $3.1 trillion, the Federal Reserve said on Friday.

Economists polled by Reuters had expected consumer credit to rise by $14 billion in January.

Revolving credit, which mostly measures credit-card use, fell by $226 million during the month. Revolving credit figures can be volatile.

Non-revolving credit, which includes auto loans as well as student loans made by the government, increased $13.9 billion in January.

(Reporting by Jason Lange; Editing by Andrea Ricci)