Consumer Credit in U.S. Increased More Than Forecast in August

(Bloomberg) -- U.S. consumer debt rose more than estimated in August, boosted by gains in both revolving and non-revolving credit, Federal Reserve figures showed Friday.

Highlights of Consumer Credit (August)
  • Total credit increased $20.1b, the most since May (est. up $15b) after a revised $16.6b in the prior month
  • Revolving credit outstanding climbed $4.8b m/m, after a $1.4b gain
  • Non-revolving debt outstanding jumped $15.2b m/m after a $15.2b rise

Key Takeaways

Non-revolving debt, which includes loans for education and automobiles, posted the best back-to-back monthly gains since late last year. The increase in revolving debt, which includes credit cards, was the most since May, a sign consumers continue to spend more freely.

Steady hiring and tax cuts have helped households improve their finances, though wage growth has remained moderate throughout the economic expansion.

The Fed’s consumer credit report doesn’t track debt secured by real estate, such as home equity lines of credit and home mortgages.

Other Details
  • Non-revolving lending by the federal government, which is mainly for student loans, increased by $20.2 billion before seasonal adjustment
  • Credit rose at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 6.2 percent, after 5.1 percent in the prior month

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