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Economy in Brief

U.S. Consumer Credit Usage Remains Steady During April
by Tom Moeller  June 7, 2021

• Nonrevolving credit usage continues strong.

• Revolving credit balances decline.

Consumer credit outstanding grew $18.6 billon during April, the same as in March, revised from $25.8 billion. February's increase was revised to $18.2 billion from $26.1 billion. A $20.0 billion April rise had been expected in the Action Economics Forecast Survey. The ratio of consumer credit outstanding-to-disposable personal income rose m/m to 22.5% compared to 23.9% during all of last year and 25.7% during 2019.

Nonrevolving credit usage increased $20.6 billion, the strongest rise since June of last year. Federal government borrowing, which issues over 40% of nonrevolving credit, grew an increased 4.4% y/y. Depository institution loans (25% of credit) grew a strengthened 4.7% y/y, up from 2.7% last year. Finance company borrowing (17.0% of loans) rose an accelerated 8.9% y/y, up from 1.0% growth in 2019, and credit union loans (15.0% of the total) increased a steady 2.8% y/y.

Revolving consumer credit balances declined $2.0 billion after a $1.4 billion March rise. Balances had been falling throughout 2020. Credit provided by depository institutions (90% of the total and mostly credit card debt), dropped 5.6% y/y. Credit union borrowing fell 7.0% y/y and the value of finance company loans weakened 16.8% 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) Apr Mar Feb Apr y/y 2020 2019 2018
Total ($ bil) 18.6 18.6 18.2 2.3% -0.2% 4.6% 4.5%
   Nonrevolving 20.6 17.2 15.1 4.9 3.6 5.0 4.8
   Revolving -2.0 1.4 3.1 -5.5 -11.1 3.6 3.7
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