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Economy in Brief

U.S. Consumer Credit Jumps
by Tom Moeller  October 8, 2012

Lenders accommodated consumers' borrowing needs during August. Consumer credit surged $18.1B following a revised $2.5B July decline according to Federal Reserve figures released late on Friday. The Action Economics survey consensus called for an August increase of $6.3B. Versus last year credit outstanding grew at an accelerated 5.5% rate.

A bounce-back in non-revolving credit of $13.9B accounted for the August surge. The monthly rise brought the y/y gain to 7.8%, its strongest since late 2002. Non-revolving credit accounts for roughly two thirds of the credit total. Revolving credit rose a lesser $4.2B and recovered most of its July drop. That left the y/y gain at a moderate 0.9%.

The figures used in this report are break-adjusted and calculated by Haver Analytics. There is a break in the credit outstanding data from November 2010 to December 2010 due to the Fed's benchmarking process. Benchmark estimates are based on the Census of Finance Companies (CFC) and the Survey of Finance Companies (SFC) conducted in 2010 and 2011, respectively. 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 Aug Jul Jun Y/Y 2011 2010 2009
Total $18.1B -$2.5B $11.8B 5.5% 3.4% -1.2% -4.5%
 Revolving 4.2 -4.8 -3.3 0.9 0.1 -7.4 -8.8
 Non-revolving 13.9 2.4 14.7 7.8 5.0 2.5 -1.8
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