Recently, the April 2017 Consumer Credit report was released, revealing all of the outstanding credit extended to individuals for household, family, and other personal expenses, excluding loans and real estate for the past month. April marked the smallest increase in consumer borrowing in six years. The Federal Reserve reported total consumer credit rising 2.6 percent, increasing the $8.2 billion in April compared to March’s revised $19.5 billion. According to MarketWatch, economists estimated a $17 billion gain in consumer credit for April.
The Consumer Credit Report covers the two main types of credit: revolving and nonrevolving. April showed a slight increase in nonrevolving credit, which is closed-end credit for consumers who will repay on an arranged repayment schedule—mainly for motor vehicle or education loans. This main source of credit growth rose at an annual rate of 2.9 percent, its slowest pace since August 2011.
Revolving credit, mostly credit cards secured or unsecured by collateral allowing consumers to borrow a prearranged limit and pay back in one or more installments, increased 1.8 percent in April at an annual rate. This is quite a drop from March’s 6.5 percent increase.
According to MarketWatch, two-thirds of U.S. economic growth comes from consumer spending, which was also at a slow start for the year. Consumer spending rose at a 0.6 percent annual rate in the first quarter, which is down from 2016 Q2 growth of 3.5 percent and spurred a Q1 GDP growth rate of 1.2 percent annually.
In an effort to help consumers better understand what is going on in consumer credit, this Friday Equifax Investor Relations Doug Brandberg and Jeff Dodge along with Equifax Chief Economist Amy Crews-Cutts will host a live webcast on their Quarterly United States Consumer Credit Trends reports. Cutts will discuss frequently asked questions and show how to best digest the data in the reports.
For more information, click here.