The newest report from the Federal Reserve Board of Governors on credit utilization showed that Americans’ borrowing activity continued to expand in October (lagged release), albeit at a slower pace. Specifically, total U.S. consumer credit outstanding rose by $16.0 billion at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.2 percent. That was worse than the $19.0 billion gain economists had expected and down from September’s upward-revised $21.8 billion increase. Non-revolving credit, e.g. student and automobile loans, lifted by $13.7 billion in October, the 62nd month-over-month gain in a row. As for revolving credit, this metric of Americans’ credit card use expanded by only $2.3 billion in October, the smallest monthly gain since February. However, the longer-term trends of an acceleration in revolving credit growth and a somewhat stalled expansion in non-revolving credit remain clearly intact. This should persist as long as job creation and household balance sheets continue to improve and enable more Americans to take on additional debt.
Sources: Econoday, FRBG, FRBSLPost author: Charles Couch