WASHINGTON, July 9 (Reuters) - U.S. consumer credit expanded in May by the most in five months as Americans used their credit cards more readily, a positive sign for an economy that has struggled to create jobs.

Consumer credit grew by $17.12 billion in May, the Federal Reserve said on Monday. That was well above the $8.5 billion advance Wall Street economists had forecast in a Reuters poll.

The Fed also said credit climbed more during April than originally thought.

In May, revolving credit, which includes credit cards, grew by $8.01 billion. That was the biggest gain since November 2007, which was the eve of the 2007-2009 recession.

Non-revolving credit increased by $9.10 billion in May.

Consumer credit flows - a relatively new data series that the Fed says is more sensitive to economic trends - also picked up. The flow of consumer credit rose to an annual rate of $205.4 billion in May. In April, that rate was $119.4 billion, the Fed said. (Reporting by Jason Lange; Editing by Andrea Ricci)