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Economy in Brief

Consumer Credit Usage Remains Negative
by Tom Moeller April 7, 2009

For February the Federal Reserve reported that consumer credit outstanding fell $7.4B. As a result of the decline, which was the fifth since July, credit growth slowed to just 1.1% year-to-year which was the weakest since late 1992. On a three-month basis credit outstanding has followed the decline in retail spending and fallen at a 0.8% annual rate.

Non-revolving credit (autos & other consumer durables), which accounts for nearly two-thirds of the total, ticked up just $0.3B in February. However, it rose at a 1.9% rate over the last three months, a pickup from the negative growth at the end of last year. Usage of revolving credit fell a huge $7.8B in February which was a record. The decline lowered three-month growth to a negative 5.1% which was near the record.

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

Credit data are available in Haver's USECON database. The Flow of Funds data are in Haver's FFUNDS database.

Credit Storm Sinking Global Trade from the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta can be found here.

Consumer Credit (m/m Chg, SAAR) February January Y/Y 2008 2007 2006 
Total $-7.4B  $8.1B 1.1% 1.8% 5.5% 4.5%
  Revolving $-7.8B $1.9B 0.5% 2.4% 7.4% 6.1%
  Non-revolving $0.3B $6.2B 1.4% 1.4% 4.4% 3.6%
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