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U.S. experienced rise in consumer credit of over $17 billion in January

Recently, Reuters reported on the U.S. consumer credit numbers for January of 2012. The numbers indicate that the large surge in consumer credit that the U.S. saw in November and December continued in January.

Reportedly, in January, the U.S. saw a $17.776 billion increase in the amount of credit held by consumers. This reportedly is the fifth month in a row in which consumer credit has risen in the U.S. and the third month in a row in which the U.S. has seen a consumer credit increase of at least $16 billion. Thus, it appears that the U.S. is experiencing a trend of surging consumer credit.

The increase in consumer credit in January was driven by non-revolving credit (a credit category that includes things like student loans and auto loans). Reportedly, in January, non-revolving credit went up by $20.723 billion in the U.S.

When it comes to revolving credit (a credit category that includes credit card debt), however, the U.S. saw a much different trend. Reportedly, in January, revolving credit actually went down in the United States. Specifically, revolving credit dropped by $2.947 billion that month.

These statistics give rise to some interesting questions. What causes are behind the surge in non-revolving credit in the U.S.? Why was credit card debt down in the U.S. in January? What effects have the trends indicated in January's consumer credit numbers had on consumers in Florida and the rest of the country? Will these trends continue in future months? It will be interesting to see how these questions are ultimately answered.

Source: Reuters, "Consumer credit rises more than expected in January," Mar. 7, 2012

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