Consumer Credit Expanded Faster than Economy in June 2011

According to the Federal Reserve, June 2011 consumer credit increased at an annual rate of 4-1/4% in the second quarter. In June, consumer credit increased at an annual rate of 7-3/4%, with revolving credit increasing at a rate of 8% and nonrevolving credit increasing at a rate of 7-1/2%.

Econintersect review of the non-seasonally adjusted data confirms the Fed’s 7.75% annual growth rate for consumer credit, and a annual growth rate of 5.5% if student loans are excluded.

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Either way, consumer credit is clearly expanding faster than the less than 2% GDP growth rate we have seen so far this year.

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The Fed uses seasonally adjusted numbers.  When you have a major event, say the mother of all recessions – seasonal adjustment methodology simply yields the wrong interpretation.  After a major event – it is better to use year-over-year change as the yardstick.

The Federal Reserve reports credit divided between revolving and non-revolving.  The majority of revolving credit is from credit cards, while non-revolving credit includes automobile loans, student loans, and all other loans not included in revolving credit, such as loans for mobile homes, education, boats, trailers, or vacations.

It is now clear consumer credit is expanding in this economic cycle.

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