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Economy in Brief

U.S. Consumer Credit Usage Increases
by Tom Moeller  August 7, 2020

• Nonrevolving borrowing usage jumps again.

• Charge card balances shrink.

Consumers are spending more on credit. Consumer credit outstanding increased $9.0 billion during June following a $14.4 billion May decline, revised from $-18.3 billion. April's shortfall of $65.3 billion was revised from $-70.2 billion. The latest increase followed three consecutive months of decline. A $10.0 billion rise had been expected by the Action Economics Forecast Survey.

Nonrevolving credit usage rose $11.3 billion (3.9% y/y) following a $10.3 billion May rise, revised from $6.0 billion. Borrowing from the federal government, which issues over 40% of nonrevolving credit, grew 6.0 % y/y. Depository institution loans (29% of credit) gained a lessened 4.0% y/y. Finance company borrowing (16.0% of loans) rose 1.1% y/y and credit union loans (14.0% of the total) increased 1.9% y/y.

Revolving consumer credit balances dropped $2.3 billion (-7.9% y/y) in June, compared to $25B to $59B declines in each of the prior three months. Credit provided by depository institutions, 90% of the total and mostly credit card debt, declined an accelerated 7.9% y/y. Credit union borrowing dropped 4.1% y/y and finance company loans fell 23.2% y/y.

During the second quarter, student loans rose a lessened 4.0% y/y while motor vehicle loans rose a steady 3.2% y/y.

These Federal Reserve Board figures 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 the Census and 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 figures are contained in the AS1REPNA database

Consumer Credit Outstanding (M/M Chg, SA) Jun May Apr Jun y/y 2019 2018 2017
Total ($ bil) 9.0 -14.4 -65.3 0.8% 4.6% 4.8% 5.3%
   Nonrevolving 11.3 10.3 -6.7 3.9 4.9 5.2 5.1
   Revolving -2.3 -24.7 -58.7 -7.9 3.8 3.6 6.0
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