Consumer Credit continues downward trend

Consumer Credit outstanding fell $14.8b in Sept seasonally adjusted, almost $5b more than expected and marks the 11th month in the past 12 of declines. At $2.456T outstanding, it is 4.9% below the record high in July ’08. After a flat reading in Aug, (didn’t fall b/c of the CARS program), non revolving debt outstanding fell by $4.9B. Revolving (mostly credit cards) balances outstanding fell by $9.9B. To fully put into perspective today’s data, look at the current level of consumer credit (doesn’t include mortgages, the biggest chunk of consumer credit) relative to GDP. As of Q3, it totaled 17.2% of GDP vs 17.8% at the end of ’08 , 16.9% at year end ’00, 15.1% at year end ’95, 13.8% at year end ’90 and 11.7% at year end ’82 just as that economic expansion began.

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