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Economy in Brief

Consumer Credit Falls $3.3B in July
by Carol Stone  September 10, 2012

Consumer credit declined in July, by $3.3B, seasonally adjusted, the first outright decline since August 2011. However, revisions to recent months raised their amounts, June from $6.5B reported previously to $11.8B in today's data, and May from $16.7B before to $19.3B today. The Action Economics survey consensus had called for a July increase of $9.1B, so the net paydown of $3.3B was quite unexpected. Relative to a year ago, total credit grew 4.4%.

Revolving credit accounted for the July contraction, as it dropped $4.8B, a second successive decrease following $3.2B in June. Its year-on-year change was a mere 0.4%. Nonrevolving credit, mostly auto and student loans, still grew in July, by $1.6B. It had surged $15.1B in June and was up 6.3% from July 2011

In this month's report, the Fed incorporated revisions back to December 2010, reflecting new data from a Census of Finance Companies taken in 2010 and the annual Survey of Finance Companies for 2011. Monthly flows and annual growth rates are published by the Fed with a break-adjustment for the associated discontinuities, although amounts outstanding for the total and nonrevolving portion show sizable jumps in December 2010.

The consumer credit data are available in Haver's USECON database. The Action Economics figures are in the AS1REPNA database.

Consumer Credit Outstanding (M/M Chg, SA Jul Jun May Y/Y 2011 2010 2009
Total -$3.3B $11.8B $19.3B 4.4% 3.4% -1.3% -4.5%
 Revolving -$4.8B -$3.2B $9.8B 0.4% 0.2% -7.4% -8.8%
 Non-revolving $1.6B $15.1B $9.6B 6.34% 5.0% 2.5% -1.8%
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