Consumer debt in the United States rose last quarter by the most in more than six years, Bloomberg reported.


Survey results released by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York today found that household debt increased 2.1 percent, or $241 billion, to $11.52 trillion. That is the largest gain since the third quarter of 2007. The level of debt last quarter was $180 billion higher than a year earlier, the report said.


Total indebtedness remains 9.1 percent below the peak of $12.68 trillion in the third quarter of 2008.


More Americans are borrowing to buy homes and cars and pay for education, the article said.


In other economic news, U.S. home builder confidence suffered its largest one-month drop ever in February, Reuters reported.


The National Association of Home Builders said that its Housing Market Index fell by 10 points to 46 in February. A reading below 50 indicates that more builders view market conditions as poor than favorable.


The association, which produces the index with Wells Fargo & Co., said cold temperatures may have had an effect on people buying homes.