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Economy in Brief

U.S. Consumer Credit Usage Slows
by Tom Moeller  March 6, 2020

Consumer credit outstanding increased $12.0 billion (4.4% y/y) during January following a $20.3 billion December gain, revised from $22.1 billion. A $17.0 billion increase had been expected by the Action Economics Forecast Survey.

Nonrevolving credit usage grew $15.0 billion (4.8% y/y) during January, up from $9.2 billion in December. Borrowing from the federal government, which issues over 40% of nonrevolving credit, grew 6.7% y/y. Depository institution loans (25% of credit) gained 7.1% y/y. Finance company borrowing grew 1.1% y/y (13.0% of loans) and credit union borrowing (7.0% of loans) rose 1.8% y/y.

Revolving consumer credit balances fell $3.0 billion (+3.2% y/y) in January, after rising $11.0 billion in December. Credit provided by depository institutions, which makes up 90% of revolving balances, grew 3.3% 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.

Consumer Credit Outstanding (M/M Chg, SA) Jan Dec Nov Jan % y/y 2019 2018 2017
Total ($ bil) 12.0 20.3 9.5 4.4 4.5 4.8 5.0
   Nonrevolving 15.0 9.2 14.0 4.8 4.8 5.4 4.9
   Revolving -3.0 11.0 -4.5 3.2 3.8 3.1 5.6
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