Revolving credit outstanding falls to lowest since ’04

Revolving consumer credit (mostly credit card debt) outstanding fell a slight $600mm in Sept from Aug but to the lowest level since Aug 2004 at $789.6b. Nonrevolving credit outstanding (mostly auto and student loans) rose by $8b. While nonrevolving debt outstanding has picked up coincident with the improvement in auto sales and persistent rise in student loan debt, through a combination of reduced credit lines, more use of debit cards and debt paydown, the amount of credit card debt taken on continues to decline. As a % of nominal GDP, revolving consumer credit outstanding is currently 5.2%, down from the peak of revolving debt in ’08 at 6.8%. At 5.2%, it’s the lowest since Q3 1995 but still remains above the level of 4.0% in 1990 and 2.9% in 1985.

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