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Economy in Brief

U.S. Consumer Borrowing Strengthens
by Tom Moeller  January 9, 2017

Consumer credit outstanding increased $24.5 billion during November (6.7% y/y) following a $16.2 billion October rise, revised from $16.0 billion. An $18.2 billion increase had been expected in the Action Economics Forecast Survey. Over the past ten years, there has been a 46% correlation between the y/y growth in consumer credit and y/y growth in personal consumption expenditures.

Revolving consumer credit surged $11.0 billion (6.4% y/y) after a $2.4 billion rise. It was the largest monthly gain since March. Balances at depository institutions (84% of the total) jumped m/m, and accelerated to 8.3% y/y. Finance company holdings (6% of the total) fell 5.2% y/y, while borrowing from credit unions (5% of the total) advanced 7.5% y/y.

Nonrevolving credit advanced $13.5 billion (6.8% y/y) after a $13.8 billion increase. Federal government loans (37% of the total) rose 10.7% y/y. Finance company balances (23% of the total) fell 1.9% y/y. Borrowing from depository institutions (25% of the total) improved 5.1% y/y, and borrowing from credit unions (12% of the total) strengthened 13.7% 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) Nov Oct Sep Y/Y 2015 2014 2013
Total $24.5 bil. $16.2 bil. $21.2 bil. 6.7% 7.0% 7.2% 6.0%
   Revolving 11.0 2.4 4.1 6.4 5.2 3.9 1.4
   Nonrevolving 13.5 13.8 17.1 6.8 7.7 8.4 7.9
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