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Economy in Brief

U.S. Consumer Credit Usage Strengthens
by Tom Moeller  September 8, 2017

Consumer credit outstanding grew $18.49 billion (5.9% y/y) during July following an $11.82 billion June increase, revised from $12.40 billion. It was the strongest monthly gain since February. A $15.0 billion July increase had been expected in the Action Economics Forecast Survey. Data back through 2016 were revised. 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 rose $15.89 billion (6.0% y/y) after a $7.07 billion gain. It was the largest increase also since February. Federal government borrowing (38% of the total) rose 9.6% y/y. Finance company balances (22% of the total) fell 1.3% y/y. Borrowing from depository institutions (25% of the total) improved 3.9% y/y and credit union loans (12% of the total) strengthened 14.4% y/y.

Revolving consumer credit balances rose $2.62 billion (5.5% y/y) after a $4.75 billion increase. It was the weakest increase in three months. Balances at depository institutions (84% of the total) increased 5.0% y/y. Finance company holdings (6% of the total) improved 7.4% y/y, while borrowing from credit unions (5% of the total) advanced 7.5% y/y.

During the second quarter, the value of student loan balances rose 6.2% y/y and the value of motor vehicle loans increased 5.6% 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.

The U.S. Economic Outlook and the Implications for Monetary Policy from William C. Dudley, President & CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, can be found here.

Consumer Credit Outstanding (M/M Chg, SA) Jul Jun May Jul Y/Y 2016 2015 2014
Total $18.49 bil. $11.82 bil. $17.91 bil. 5.9% 6.7% 7.1% 7.2%
   Nonrevolving 15.89 7.07 11.29 6.0 6.7 7.7 8.4
   Revolving 2.62 4.75 6.65 5.5 6.6 5.4 4.0
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