November 08, 2017

Consumer credit sees fast growth pace in September

Total consumer credit rose at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 6.6 percent in September – the fastest pace since last November, noted NAFCU Chief Economist and Vice President of Research Curt Long.

Consumer credit saw an increase of 4.2 percent in August and 5.7 percent in July (all seasonally adjusted annual rates). From a year ago, total consumer credit was up 5.6 percent.

Non-revolving credit, which is mostly motor vehicle and education loans, increased 6.3 percent in September, while revolving credit, which is primarily credit cards, rose 7.7 percent. Non-revolving credit and revolving credit both increased 5.6 percent from the prior year.

"Growth was led by revolving credit, which exceeded $1 trillion for the first time since January 2009," said Long in a NAFCU Macro Data Flash report. "Non-revolving credit also had strong growth during the month as vehicle sales surged after Hurricane Harvey."

Total consumer credit for credit unions rose 1.1 percent in September from the previous month, compared to a 0.5 percent increase for banks and a 0.1 percent decrease for financial companies. In the third quarter, total consumer credit at credit unions rose 3.2 percent, while banks increased 2 percent and financial companies decreased 0.5 percent.

Credit unions' share of the total consumer credit market remained at 11 percent in September, while banks had 40.9 percent and financial companies held 14.3 percent of the market. Credit unions' portfolio of consumer credit was up 12.1 percent over the past year.