The latest report from the Federal Reserve Board of Governors on credit utilization showed that Americans’ borrowing activity cooled slightly in June (lagged release), with total U.S. consumer credit outstanding expanding by just $12.3 billion at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.1 percent. That was below the $15.5 billion gain economists had expected and the slowest pace of growth since 2012. However, all of the weakness was related to non-revolving credit, e.g. student and automobile loans, which rose by just $4.6 billion in June. While that was less than a third of the increase seen in May, it was still the 58th month-over-month gain in a row. As for revolving credit, this metric of Americans’ credit card use jumped by $7.7 billion in June, the 2nd-largest monthly increase since the financial crisis and generally consistent with other data showing recent gains in consumer spending. 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 Americans to take on additional debt.
Sources: Econoday, Twitter, Bloomberg, ZH, FRBG, FRBSLPost author: Charles Couch