Nonrevolving Consumer Credit Decelerates in February

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The current G.19 Federal Reserve Consumer Credit report has been updated to show the preliminary figures for February 2019 consumer credit. In February, consumer credit increased at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.5%. Revolving1 credit increased at an annual rate of 3.3%, while nonrevolving2 credit increased at an annual rate of 5%. In the previous month, nonrevolving debt grew at a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 6.1%. The current, outstanding level of debt on a seasonally adjusted basis is $4.0 trillion, approximately $15 billion higher than the previous month’s outstanding balance. In this month’s release, there were significant downward revisions to nonrevolving debt. A recent post referred to a surge in mortgage application activity due to widespread rate declines, as shown in the latest Mortgage Bankers Association’s Weekly Application Survey. However, instead of resulting in new mortgage originations, the lion’s share of activity was in refinancing.

This month followed the usual, seasonal decrease in consumer credit (that is, on a non-seasonally adjusted basis) that has historically occurred around this time of year. From January 2019, the non-seasonally adjusted level of debt reduced by about $15 billion, with depository institutions’ holdings accounting for most of the decrease. Furthermore, within depository institutions, the non-seasonally adjusted decrease in debt was largely in revolving credit.


Note:

  1. According to the Federal Reserve’s G.19 Consumer Credit report, revolving credit plans, which are largely composed of credit card debt but also include home equity lines of credit (HELOCs), may be unsecured or secured by collateral and allow a consumer to borrow up to a prearranged limit and repay the debt in one or more installments.
  2. According to the Federal Reserve’s G.19 Consumer Credit report, nonrevolving credit is closed-end credit extended to consumers that is repaid on a prearranged repayment schedule and may be secured or unsecured.


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