May 08, 2014

Consumer credit up 6.7% in March

May 9, 2014 – Total consumer credit increased an annualized 6.7 percent in March, with credit unions' share of the total consumer credit market remaining at 8.7 percent, according to data published by the Federal Reserve and analyzed by NAFCU's Doug Christman.

"Total consumer credit growth at credit unions out performed banks and financial companies in the first quarter, expanding by 1.6 percent," Christman noted in a NAFCU Macro Data Flash report. He said consumer credit declined 2.2 percent during the quarter at banks and 1.4 percent at financial companies. Credit unions had the greatest increase for the month as well, with consumer credit up 0.7 percent.

Christman said additional consumer credit card debt contributed to the March consumer credit growth. Consumer credit increased 5 percent in February and 5.2 percent in January (seasonally adjusted annual rates).

Non-revolving credit, which is mostly motor vehicle and education loans, increased at an annual rate of 8.7 percent, while revolving credit, which is primarily credit cards, increased 1.6 percent in March.

"Non-revolving credit remained solid as consumers took advantage of low interest rates to purchase vehicles and as young adults pursued higher education," Christman said. "Non-revolving credit is expected to continue to drive overall consumer credit growth."