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Economy in Brief

U.S. Consumer Credit Usage Remains Firm
by Tom Moeller  July 8, 2016

Consumer credit outstanding increased $18.6 billion during May following an unrevised $13.4 billion April gain. A $15.2 billion increase had been expected in the Action Economics Forecast Survey. During the last ten years, there has been a 46% correlation between the y/y growth in consumer credit and y/y growth in personal consumption expenditures.

Nonrevolving credit borrowing grew $16.2 billion (6.6% y/y) after a little-revised $12.0 billion gain. Federal government loans (36% of the total) increased 11.3% y/y. Finance company balances (24% of the total) eased 1.5% y/y. Borrowing at depository institutions (25% of the total) improved 5.3% y/y, and borrowing at credit unions (11% of the total) jumped 16.3% y/y. Nonprofit & educational institution loans (2% of the total) declined 9.6% y/y, and nonfinancial business loans (1% of the total) remained unchanged y/y.

Revolving consumer credit increased $2.4 billion after a $1.4 billion rise, last month reported as $1.6 billion. Balances at depository institutions (84% of the total) grew 8.2% y/y. Finance company holdings (6% of the total) fell 8.3% y/y, while borrowing from credit unions (5% of the total) advanced 5.6% y/y. Nonfinancial business credit (2% of the total) fell 11.7% y/y, and securitized credit card balances (3% of the total) declined 16.4% y/y.

Student loans during Q1 increased 6.5% y/y while motor vehicle loan rose 8.1% 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.

Consumer Credit Outstanding (M/M Chg, SA) May Apr Mar Y/Y 2015 2014 2013
Total $18.6 bil. $13.4 bil. $29.4 bil. 6.3% 6.5% 7.2% 6.0%
   Revolving 2.4 1.4 10.3 5.4 5.2 3.9 1.4
   Nonrevolving 16.2 12.0 19.1 6.6 7.0 8.4 7.9
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