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Economy in Brief

U.S. Consumer Credit Usage Continues to Ease
by Tom Moeller  August 7, 2017

Consumer credit outstanding grew $12.40 billion during June following an $18.30 billion May increase, revised from $18.42 billion. A $15.8 billion June increase had been expected in the Action Economics Forecast Survey. During the past ten years, there has been a 49% correlation between the y/y growth in consumer credit and y/y growth in personal consumption expenditures.

Nonrevolving credit usage softened, rising $8.27 billion (5.8% y/y) after an $11.42 billion gain. It was the smallest increase in twelve months. Federal government borrowing (38% of the total) rose 9.6% y/y. Finance company balances (22% of the total) fell 1.0% y/y. Borrowing from depository institutions (25% of the total) improved 3.9% y/y and credit union loans (12% of the total) strengthened 13.2% y/y.

Revolving consumer credit balances rose $4.13 billion (5.5% y/y) after a $6.87 billion increase. Balances at depository institutions (84% of the total) increased 5.3% y/y. Finance company holdings (6% of the total) improved 6.5% y/y, while borrowing from credit unions (5% of the total) advanced 7.3% 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.

A Low Inflation Surprise for U.S. Monetary Policy from James Bullard, President & CEO, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis is available here.

Consumer Credit Outstanding (M/M Chg, SA) Jun May Apr Jun Y/Y 2016 2015 2014
Total $12.40 bil. $18.30 bil. $12.26 bil. 5.7% 6.5% 7.1% 7.2%
   Nonrevolving 8.27 11.42 11.61 5.8 6.5 7.7 8.4
   Revolving 4.13 6.87 0.67 5.5 6.4 5.4 4.0
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