Haver Analytics
Haver Analytics
| Jul 08 2024

U.S. Consumer Credit Increases Sharply in May

  • Revolving credit outstanding surges after edging lower in April.
  • Nonrevolving credit gain moderates.

Consumer credit outstanding rose $11.4 billion (2.1% y/y) during May following a $6.5 billion April increase, revised from $6.4 billion and a decline of $1.2 billion in March. A $9.0 billion increase had been expected in the Action Economics Forecast Survey. The ratio of consumer credit outstanding to disposable personal income was fairly steady at 24.2% in May.

Revolving credit outstanding, which includes credit cards, rose $7.0 billion (6.7% y/y) following a $0.9 billion easing in April and a $1.8 billion March rise. Revolving credit outstanding held by depository institutions rose 7.4% y/y. Revolving credit held by finance companies fell 6.3% y/y while revolving credit held by credit unions rose 6.5% y/y in May.

Nonrevolving credit outstanding increased $4.3 billion (0.5% y/y) in May after increasing $7.4 billion in April and falling $3.0 billion in March. Nonrevolving credit held by banks declined 2.4% y/y while finance company credit rose 6.6% y/y. Credit union nonrevolving balances edged 0.8% higher y/y. Federal government balances eased 0.6% y/y to $1.5 trillion.

By specific credit type, there were $1.75 trillion of student loans outstanding at the end of March, down 1.2% y/y, and $1.55 trillion in motor vehicle loans at the end-March, up 2.4% from a year earlier.

The consumer credit figures from the Federal Reserve Board 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 data from the Census and the 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 forecast figures are contained in the AS1REPA database.

  • Prior to joining Haver Analytics in 2000, Mr. Moeller worked as the Economist at Chancellor Capital Management from 1985 to 1999. There, he developed comprehensive economic forecasts and interpreted economic data for equity and fixed income portfolio managers. Also at Chancellor, Mr. Moeller worked as an equity analyst and was responsible for researching and rating companies in the economically sensitive automobile and housing industries for investment in Chancellor’s equity portfolio.   Prior to joining Chancellor, Mr. Moeller was an Economist at Citibank from 1979 to 1984.   He also analyzed pricing behavior in the metals industry for the Council on Wage and Price Stability in Washington, D.C.   In 1999, Mr. Moeller received the award for most accurate forecast from the Forecasters' Club of New York. From 1990 to 1992 he was President of the New York Association for Business Economists.   Mr. Moeller earned an M.B.A. in Finance from Fordham University, where he graduated in 1987. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from George Washington University.

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