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Economy in Brief

U.S. Consumer Credit Growth Remains Strong
by Tom Moeller  July 8, 2019

Consumer credit outstanding increased $17.10 billion during May (5.2% y/y) following a $17.50 billion April rise, revised from $17.49 billion. These gains were the strongest since the end of last year. A $16.0 billion increase had been expected by the Action Economics Forecast Survey.

Nonrevolving credit usage grew $9.90 billion (5.5% y/y) during May, the weakest increase since June of last year. Borrowing from the federal government, which issues over 40% of nonrevolving credit, grew 7.3% y/y. Depository institutions lending (25% of credit) gained 5.5% y/y. Meanwhile, finance company balances edged 0.2% higher y/y and credit union loans strengthened 9.1% y/y. Each of these sectors provide roughly 15% of nonrevolving credit.

Revolving consumer credit balances strengthened $7.20 billion in May (4.5% y/y), up slightly from April's $7.00 billion rise. Credit provided by depository institutions, which makes up 90% of revolving balances, grew 5.0% y/y. Borrowing from credit unions (6% of the issuance) increased 8.5% y/y.

These Federal Reserve Board figures are break-adjusted and calculated by Haver Analytics. The breaks in the series in 2005, 2010 and 2015 are the result of the incorporation of the Census and Survey of Finance Companies, as well as changes in the seasonal adjustment methodology.

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

How Have Changing Sectoral Trends Affected GDP Growth? from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco can be found here.

Consumer Credit Outstanding (M/M Chg, SA) May Apr Mar May y/y 2018 2017 2016
Total $17.10 bil. $17.50 bil. $11.91 bil. 5.2 4.7 5.0 6.8
   Nonrevolving 9.90 10.50 13.91 5.5 5.3 4.8 6.9
   Revolving 7.20 7.00 -2.01 4.5 3.1 5.6 6.8
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