April 09, 2019

Consumer credit up 4.5%; growth may temper in 2019

consumercreditTotal consumer credit rose 4.5 percent in February (seasonally-adjusted, annualized) and is up 5 percent versus a year ago. NAFCU Research Assistant Dhruv Singh noted that while consumer credit remains steady, overall growth may cool in the coming months.

"Consumer credit grew at a slower-than-expected pace in February, but remained steady," said Singh in a NAFCU Macro Data Flash report. "On a year-over-year basis, non-mortgage debt balances are up 5 percent. Household balance sheets are in good shape overall. But the delayed effects of rising interest rates, along with some moderation in consumer sentiment mean that demand is likely to be tempered in 2019."

Total consumer credit for credit unions was unchanged in February from the previous month, compared to a 1 percent decrease for banks and a 0.5 percent decrease for financial companies. From a year prior, total consumer credit at credit unions rose 12.3 percent, while banks saw a 4.8 percent increase and financial companies saw a 0.9 percent decline.

Credit unions now own 11.8 percent of the market, up from 11 percent a year ago. Meanwhile, financial companies' market share fell from 14 percent to 13.2 percent over that period, while banks' share fell from 41.2 percent to 41.1 percent.