Biggest monthly drop in consumer credit outstanding ever

Consumer Credit outstanding fell a greater than expected $17.5b m/o/m in Nov vs an estimated drop of $5b and follows a revised $4.2b decline in Oct. It is the 13th month of the last 14 that has seen a reduction and is the biggest monthly drop ever. The decline was led by a sharp 18.5% annualized drop in revolving credit which consists mostly of credit cards. Nonrevolving credit outstanding fell 2.9% annualized and is made up mostly of auto loans. Total consumer credit outstanding now stands at $2.464T, the lowest since July ’07 and has fallen $117b from the record high in July ’08. To put the last decade of credit growth into perspective, nominal personal consumption rose 55% (same increase as overall GDP) while consumer credit rose 61% over the same period. Thus, highlighting how dependent on credit the US became rather than on savings in generating growth.

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