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Economy in Brief

U.S. Consumer Credit Usage Strengthens
by Tom Moeller  September 9, 2019

Consumer credit outstanding surged $23.30 billion (5.2% y/y) during July after increasing $13.79 billion in June, revised from $14.58 billion. It was the largest increase since November 2017. A $16.0 billion gain had been expected by the Action Economics Forecast Survey.

July's strength was derived from a $10.01 billion jump (4.6% y/y) in revolving credit usage, which followed a modest June decline. It was the strongest gain since November 2017. Credit provided by depository institutions, which makes up 90% of revolving balances, grew a weakened 4.8% y/y. Borrowing from credit unions (6% of the issuance) increased a steady 8.4% y/y.

Nonrevolving credit usage increased $13.30 billion (5.4% y/y) during July after a $13.97 billion June rise. These gains were up sharply from the increases during the prior two months. Borrowing by the federal government, which issues over 40% of nonrevolving credit, rose 7.4% y/y. Depository institutions lending (25% of credit) gained an accelerated 6.3% y/y. These gains were roughly double those logged in both 2017 and 2018. Meanwhile, finance company balances edged 0.8% higher y/y and credit union loans rose a greatly reduced 6.6% y/y. Each of these sectors provide roughly 15% of nonrevolving credit.

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.

Consumer Credit Outstanding (M/M Chg, SA) July June May July y/y 2018 2017 2016
Total $23.30 bil. $13.79 bil. $16.75 bil. 5.2% 4.8% 5.1% 6.8%
   Nonrevolving 13.30 13.97 9.37 5.4 5.4 4.9 6.9
   Revolving 10.01 -0.19 7.39 4.6 3.1 5.6 6.8
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