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Economy in Brief

U.S. Consumer Credit Shows Another Moderate Increase
by Carol Stone  January 8, 2016

Consumer credit outstanding increased $14.0 billion in November after October's $15.6 billion, which was revised from $16.0 billion. Action Economics Forecast Survey participants looked for an $18.3 billion increase. 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 by $8.3 billion in November (7.6% y/y). Federal government loans (36.1% of that total) increased 12.4% y/y. Finance company balances (24.1% of the nonrevolving credit amount) rose 1.9%. Borrowing at depository institutions (25% of this total) increased 6.1% y/y, and borrowing at credit unions (11.1% of the total) advanced 12.8% y/y. Nonprofit & educational institution loans (1.8% of the total) declined 12.1% y/y, and nonfinancial business loans (0.8% of the total) were flat y/y.

Revolving consumer credit in November grew $5.7 billion, up 4.9% y/y. These credit card balances at depository institutions (83.3% of this total) increased 6.8% y/y. Finance company holdings (6.3% of the total) fell 5.3% y/y, while borrowing from credit unions (5.4% of the total) advanced 7.5% y/y. Nonfinancial business credit (2.3% of the total) fell 3.3% y/y, and securitized credit card balances (2.7% of the total) declined 14.7% 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 2014 2013 2012
Total $14.0 bil. $15.6 bil. $28.7 bil. 6.8% 7.0% 6.0% 6.1%
   Revolving 5.7 0.1 6.7 4.9 3.7 1.4 0.6
   Nonrevolving 8.3 15.5 22.0 7.6 8.3 7.9 8.5
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