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Pace of growth of consumer credit in the U.S. slows down

In previous posts, we have discussed how the U.S. experienced fairly aggressive growth in consumer credit in the three-month period between November 2011 and January 2012. Some debt-related statistics that were recently reported on by Reuters indicate that this aggressive growth may now be slowing.

The statistics are from the Federal Reserve and they regard consumer credit in the U.S. in February 2012. The statistics indicate that, while the U.S. did experience an increase in consumer credit in February, this increase was more modest than the increases the U.S. saw in the preceding three months.

Reportedly, in February 2012, non-revolving credit (a credit category that includes things like student loan debt and auto loan debt) went up by $10.94 billion and revolving credit (a credit category that includes things like credit card debt) dropped by $2.21 billion.

Thus, overall, the amount of credit held by consumers in the U.S. rose by $8.73 billion in February 2012. In contrast, in each of the preceding three months (November 2011, December 2011 and January 2012) the U.S. saw an increase in consumer credit of at least $16 billion.

Thus, the statistics indicate that, while the U.S. is continuing to see a trend of increases in consumer credit, the size of these increases is shrinking. One wonders what is causing this reduction in the pace of the growth of consumer credit and what effects this reduction in pace and its causes are having on consumers in Florida and the rest of the country. One also wonders if this slowing of the pace of consumer credit growth is, on balance, a good or a bad thing.

Source: Reuters, "Consumer credit growth slows in February," April 6, 2012

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