Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Consumer Credit Grew by $17.7 Billion in January

Consumer credit continued to grow at a rapid pace in January, rising by $17.7 billion. Consumer credit has now grown by $54 billion in the past three months, the fastest pace since October 2000. Consumer credit has expanded for five consecutive months, and for 15 out of the past 16 months.

Non-revolving credit continues to drive the growth, expanding by $20.7 billion, the fastest pace since November of 2001. The surge in non-revolving credit was driven largely by federal government balances, which include student loans. This accounted for 85% of the monthly change in non-revolving credit. Strengthening auto sales also helped grow consumer credit.

ABA Chief Economist James Chessen said, “Student loan growth continues to dominate the increase in consumer credit, and is having a major impact on overall non-mortgage consumer debt.”

Revolving credit fell by $2.9 billion in January, the first contraction in five months. Despite the fall, revolving credit has growth by $6.2 billion in the past year.

Read the report.

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