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Economy in Brief

U.S. Consumer Credit Growth Slows in July
by Tom Moeller  September 8, 2021

• Nonrevolving credit usage is weakest in nine months.

• Revolving credit deceleration follows outsized increase.

Consumer credit outstanding grew $17.0 billion (4.2% y/y) during July following a $37.9 billion June increase, revised from $37.7 billon. A $27.2 billion July rise had been expected in the Action Economics Forecast Survey. The ratio of consumer credit outstanding-to-disposable personal income of 24.0% in July equaled last year's average and stood below 25.9% in 2019.

Nonrevolving credit usage grew $11.5 billion (5.3% y/y) in July following a $19.7 billion June increase, revised from $19.8 billion. Federal government borrowing, which issues over 40% of nonrevolving credit, grew a steady 4.3% y/y. Depository institution loans (25% of credit) grew an accelerated 6.9% y/y, up from 2.8% last year. Finance company borrowing (17.0% of loans) rose 6.6% y/y, up from 3.6% in 2020 and 1.0% growth in 2019. Credit union loans (15.0% of the total) increased 4.6% y/y.

Revolving consumer credit balances increased $5.6 billion (0.6% y/y) after an $18.2 billion June gain, revised from $17.9 billion. Credit provided by depository institutions (90% of the total and mostly credit card debt) rose 0.9% y/y, up from an 11.0% y/y decline last year. Credit union borrowing rose 1.0% y/y and the value of finance company loans weakened 13.4% 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.

How Do Business Cycles Affect Worker Groups Differently? from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco is available here.

 Consumer Credit Outstanding (M/M Chg, SA) Jul Jun May Jul y/y 2020 2019 2018
Total ($ bil) 17.0 37.9 35.0 4.2% -0.3% 4.6% 4.5%
   Nonrevolving 11.5 19.7 25.7 5.3 3.6 5.0 4.8
   Revolving 5.6 18.2 9.3 0.6 -11.1 3.6 3.7
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