Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Consumer Credit Growth Slowed in March

Consumer credit increased $8.0 billion in March, less then half of the $18.1 billion gain seen in February. Non-revolving credit continued to drive the gains in consumer credit, as revolving credit decreased. Growth slowed to 3.4%, after sharp increases the previous month.

Revolving credit shrank for the first time this year, dropping $1.7 billion, which was 2.4% decline from the previous month. Revolving credit continues the volatile trend seen in 2012. In the past year, revolving credit has grown by just $4.0 billion.

Non-revolving credit grew 6.5%, gaining $9.7 billion. Non-revolving credit, consisting primarily of auto and student loans, has been the primary driver of credit growth over the past two years, and has gained $154.6 billion in the past year. Student loans continue to account for the majority of this growth accounting for 80% of March’s increase on a non-seasonally adjusted basis.

The consumer credit report from January echoes the same trends witnessed in the last two years. Non-revolving consumer credit continues to swell while there is minimal revolving consumer credit change.

Read the Federal Reserve release.

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