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Economy in Brief

U.S. Consumer Credit Picked Up in July
by Sandy Batten  September 8, 2016

Consumer credit outstanding picked up in July, increasing $17.7 billion (6.0% y/y) during the month versus an upwardly revised, though still subpar, $14.5 billion (initially $12.3 billion) rise in June. The previously reported May increase was also revised up, rather significantly, to a $22.6 billion increase from $17.9 billion. A $15.1 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.

Nonrevolving credit led the July rise, increasing $14.9 billion (6.1% y/y) after an upwardly revised $5.4 billion gain in June. The June increase is still the smallest dollar increase since December. Federal government loans (37% of the total) increased 11.2% y/y. Finance company balances (23% of the total) eased 2.1% y/y. Borrowing from depository institutions (25% of the total) improved 5.6% y/y, and borrowing from credit unions (12% of the total) jumped 11.3% y/y.

Revolving consumer credit edged up $2.8 billion (5.9% y/y) in July, its smallest monthly increase since February. But the initially reported $7.7 billion for June was revised up to $9.2 billion. Balances at depository institutions (84% of the total) grew 8.3% y/y. Finance company holdings (6% of the total) fell 6.8% y/y, while borrowing from credit unions (5% of the total) advanced 8.5% 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) Jul Jun May Y/Y 2015 2014 2013
Total $17.7 bil. $14.5 bil. $22.6 bil. 6.0% 6.6% 7.2% 6.0%
   Revolving 2.8 9.2 4.6 5.9 5.2 3.9 1.4
   Nonrevolving 14.9 5.4 17.9 6.1 7.1 8.4 7.9
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