WASHINGTON – Consumer borrowing increased slightly in April, a sign that Americans may have more faith in the economic recovery.

Borrowing rose by $954.8 million in April, the Federal Reserve said Monday. But the government revised away a gain it had originally reported for March. Instead, it reported that credit fell a sharp $5.44 billion during that month.

The April increase, if it stands, would be only the second gain in the past 15 months. Economists are hoping that households will soon feel confident enough to borrow more and help sustain the recovery.

Consumer credit also rose in January. Beyond the January and April gains, consumer credit has posted a string of declines that started in February 2009. Households have cut back on their spending to repair their battered balance sheets.

The April gain represented a 0.5 percent increase.

The strength in April reflected a 7.1 percent rise in nonrevolving credit, the category that includes auto loans. Auto spending has been boosted in recent months by incentives offered by automakers.

Revolving debt, including credit cards, plunged 12 percent.