The latest report from the Federal Reserve Board of Governors on credit utilization showed that Americans’ borrowing activity generally expanded in May. Specifically, total U.S. consumer credit outstanding rose by $18.6 billion at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 6.2 percent to $3,623.7 billion in May. This was above the consensus forecast for a $16.0 billion gain and $5.2 billion larger than April’s already healthy increase. Under the hood, the majority of the expansion was again driven by non-revolving credit, e.g. student and automobile loans, which rose by $16.2 billion in May for the 57th consecutive month-over-month increase. Revolving credit, which is mostly consumers’ credit cards, lifted by $2.4 billion in May, well below March’s $10 billion spike but an improvement from April and an encouraging sign that the labor market weakness that occurred in May did not weigh heavily on consumers’ demand for credit. Moreover, 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 American consumers to take on additional debt.
Sources: Econoday, Twitter, Bloomberg, ZH, FRBG, FRBSLPost author: Charles Couch