U.S. Government Now Holds 13% of Consumer Credit

The Federal Reserve released the October 2010 G.19 compilation of consumer credit outstanding with the following headline:

Consumer credit increased at an annual rate of 1-3/4 percent in October 2010. Revolving credit decreased at an annual rate of 8-1/2 percent, and nonrevolving credit increased at an annual rate of 6-3/4 percent.

The headline uses seasonally adjusted data.  The majority of revolving credit is from credit cards, while nonrevolving credit includes automobile loans and all other loans not included in revolving credit, such as loans for mobile homes, education, boats, trailers, or vacations.

The Federal government continues to build its portfolio in nonrevolving credit adding over $30 billion in the last month alone.  The Federal government has no revolving credit holdings.

This year the Federal government has increased its credit portfolio by $126 billion.  Although not broken out, it is assumed this growth in due to student loans.  Despite this major intervention in 2010, consumer credit outstanding has fallen $89 billion through October from 3Q/2009 and $186 billion from the high in 2008.

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