April 08, 2014

Total consumer credit up 6.4% in February

April 9, 2014 – Despite consumers paying down credit card balances, total consumer credit increased by an annualized 6.4 percent in February, according to a NAFCU Macro Data Flash.

NAFCU Senior Economist Curt Long analyzed data published by the Federal Reserve in the report. He founds that non-revolving credit – mostly vehicles and education loans – increased an annualized 10.1 percent, while revolving credit – mostly credit cards – decreased 3.4 percent.

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

"Total consumer credit growth at credit unions fell behind banks in the fourth quarter, expanding by 1.4 percent while banks increased 3.3 percent," he continued. "Credit unions' consumer credit growth continued to outpace financial companies, which saw growth of 0.1 percent in the fourth quarter."

Credit unions' share of the total consumer credit market was 8.7 percent in February, compared to banks at 40.2 percent, and financial companies at 21.6 percent.