By Jennifer Leigh Parker, Writer, CNBC.com NEW YORK ( CNBC) -- The American consumer appears to be levering-up again. But the big debate among economists is whether borrowing signals economic growth or economic strain. According to the Federal Reserve's latest report, total consumer borrowing reached $2.5 trillion in December of last year, nearly matching the pre-recession level. Another $17.78 billion was added in January, more than the $10.45 billion expected.
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