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Economy in Brief

U.S. Consumer Credit Growth Up in March, Stable With 2007
by Tom Moeller May 8, 2008

Consumer credit outstanding rose $15.3B during March after an upwardly revised $6.6B February increase. The gain was more than twice the rise that was generally expected.

On a percentage basis, the change in consumer credit over the last three months averaged 5.5% (AR), about the same as during all of 2007.

Revolving credit outstanding rose $6.3B, nearly twice the February increase. The three month growth rate, however, fell slightly to 6.9% from 7.5% last year.

Non-revolving credit, which accounts for nearly two thirds of total consumer credit, increased more sharply last month by $9.0B after an upwardly revised $2.6B February gain. The three month annualized average growth rate, however, was stable with last year's 4.7% increase though that was up from a 1.2% low at the end of last year.

These figures are the major input to the Fed's Flow of Funds accounts for the household sector, released quarterly.

The Recession Dating Procedure from the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) can be found here.

Consumer Credit (m/m Chg, SAAR) March February Y/Y 2007 2006  2005
Total $15.3B  $6.6B 5.9% 5.7% 4.5% 4.3%
  Revolving $6.3B $3.9B 7.9% 7.5% 6.1% 3.1%
  Non-revolving $9.0B $2.6B 4.7% 4.7% 3.6% 4.9%
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