February 08, 2017

Consumer credit up 4.5% in December

Total consumer credit rose at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.5 percent in December. A slowdown from an 8.1 percent increase in November and a 5.2 percent increase in October, noted NAFCU Chief Economist and Director of Research Curt Long in a NAFCU Macro Data Flash report Wednesday.

Non-revolving credit, which is mostly motor vehicle and education loans, increased 5.1 percent in December. However, Long noted that growth in this segment may slow amid expectations of a rise in interest rates this year.

Revolving credit growth decelerated to 2.9 percent during the month after hitting 14.4 percent in November. "Despite the slowdown," Long noted, "the outlook remains positive in light of a strong labor market and rising consumer confidence."

Total consumer credit for credit unions rose 0.4 percent in December from the previous month; that compares with a 1.7 percent increase for banks and a 0.3 percent decline for financial companies.

"Credit unions' portfolio of consumer credit grew 11.6 percent during 2016," Long added. "Credit unions now own 10.2 percent of the market, which is up from 9.7 percent a year ago." Banks' market share rose from 40.4 percent to 40.7 percent over the past year, while financial companies' share fell from 19.3 percent to 17.7 percent.