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Economy in Brief

U.S. Consumer Borrowing Firms
by Tom Moeller  August 10, 2015

Consumer credit outstanding increased $20.7 billion during June following a $16.5 billion May rise, initially reported as $16.1 billion. Expectations were for a $17.1 billion increase according to the Action Economics Forecast Survey. During the last ten years, there has been a 48% correlation between the y/y growth in consumer credit and y/y growth in personal consumption expenditures.

Revolving consumer credit usage accounted for most of June's firmer borrowing rate with a $5.5 billion increase (3.5% y/y), up from $1.6 billion. Commercial bank & savings institution balances (82% of the total) increased 4.9% y/y. Finance company lending (7% of the total) declined 7.1% y/y while borrowing from credit unions (5% of the total) gained 4.2% y/y. Nonfinancial business credit usage (3% of the total) improved 0.2% y/y and securitized credit card balances (4% of the total) fell 0.9% y/y.

Non-revolving credit borrowing rose to $15.2 billion (7.7% y/y) after a $14.9 billion improvement. Federal government loans increased 13.5% y/y. These constitute just over one-third of total non-revolving credit. Finance company balances (25% of the total) improved 1.9% y/y. Bank borrowing (25% of the total) rose 4.9% y/y and borrowing at credit unions (11% of the total) advanced 15.8% y/y. Nonprofit & educational institution loans (2% of the total) declined 12.0% y/y. Nonfinancial business loans (1% of the total) remained unchanged y/y.

During all of the second quarter, student loan balances increased 6.7% y/y and borrowing for motor vehicle purchases rose 8.3% y/y.

These Federal Reserve Board figures are break-adjusted and calculated by Haver Analytics. There is a break in the credit outstanding data from November 2010 to December 2010 due to the Fed's benchmarking process. Benchmark estimates are based on the Census of Finance Companies (CFC) and the Survey of Finance Companies (SFC) conducted in 2010 and 2011, respectively.

The consumer credit data are available in Haver's USECON database. The Action Economics figures are contained in the AS1REPNA database.

How Much Student Debt is Out There? from the Federal Reserve Board is available here.

Consumer Credit Outstanding (M/M Chg, SA) Jun May Apr Y/Y 2014 2013 2012
Total $20.7 bil. $16.5 bil. $21.4 bil. 6.5% 7.0% 6.0% 6.1%
   Revolving 5.5 1.6 8.5 3.5 3.7 1.5 0.6
   Nonrevolving 15.2 14.9 12.8 7.7 8.3 7.9 8.5
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