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Economy in Brief

U.S. Consumer Credit Usage Slows Further
by Tom Moeller  October 7, 2015

Consumer credit outstanding increased $16.02 billion (6.8% y/y) during August following an $18.94 billion July rise, revised from $19.1 billion. It was the weakest increase in six months. Expectations were for an $18.8 billion gain in the Action Economics Forecast Survey. During the last ten years, there has been a 47% correlation between the y/y growth in consumer credit and y/y growth in personal consumption expenditures.

Revolving consumer credit rose $4.0 billion (4.2% y/y) following July's $4.2 billion gain. Depository institution balances (82% of the total) increased 5.6% y/y. Finance company lending (6.5% of the total) declined 6.7% y/y and borrowing from credit unions (5% of the total) improved 6.8% y/y. Nonfinancial business credit (3% of the total) inched 0.2% higher y/y but securitized credit card balances (3% of the total) fell 1.6% y/y.

Nonrevolving credit borrowing in August gained $12.0 billion (7.7% y/y), down from June's high of a $19.8 billion increase. Federal government loans (35.5% of the total) increased 13.3% y/y. Finance company balances (25% of the total) improved 2.1% y/y. Borrowing at banks (also 25% of the total) rose 4.8% y/y and borrowing at credit unions (11% of the total) advanced 13.8% y/y. Nonprofit & educational institution loans (2% of the total) declined 11.5% y/y, and nonfinancial business loans (1% of the total) remained unchanged y/y.

These Federal Reserve Board figures 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 contained in the AS1REPNA database.

Consumer Credit Outstanding (M/M Chg, SA) Aug Jul Jun Y/Y 2014 2013 2012
Total $16.02 bil. $18.94 bil. $27.2 bil. 6.8% 7.0% 6.0% 6.1%
   Revolving 4.0 4.2 7.4 4.2 3.7 1.4 0.6
   Nonrevolving 12.0 14.7 19.8 7.7 8.3 7.9 8.5
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