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Economy in Brief

U.S. Consumer Credit Growth Slows in April
by Tom Moeller  June 7, 2022

• Revolving credit usage weakens.

• Nonrevolving credit usage eases.

Consumer credit outstanding increased $38.1 billion (7.5% y/y) in April following a record $47.4 billion March gain, revised from $52.4 billion. A $34.0 billion rise had been expected in the Action Economics Forecast Survey. The ratio, of consumer credit outstanding to disposable personal income edged higher to 24.8%, the highest level since March 2020.

Revolving consumer credit balances rose $17.8 billion (13.1% y/y) following a record $25.6 billion March increase, revised from $31.4 billion. Revolving credit provided by depository institutions (90% of the total and mostly credit card debt) rose 15.2% y/y, the quickest growth since February 1997. Borrowing from credit unions (6% of the total) rose 10.8% y/y in April. Nonfinancial business loans (2% of the total) were unchanged in April from a year ago. The value of finance company loans (1% of loans) declined 16.5% y/y in April.

The rise in nonrevolving credit slowed to $20.3 billion (5.8% y/y) in April following a record $21.7 billion March advance, revised from $21.1 billion. Federal government lending, which issued 42% of nonrevolving credit, rose 3.0% y/y. Nonrevolving loans provided by depository institutions (26% of credit) grew 10.7% y/y, the quickest growth since April 1995. Finance company lending (16% of loans) grew a diminished 2.4% y/y. Growth of credit union nonrevolving loans (14% of the total) accelerated to 10.8% 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.

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