U.S. Outlook: Consumer credit spigot remains open

Scott Anderson
Posted by Scott Anderson
Chief Economist

Solid gains in consumer credit growth are an integral part of our sanguine outlook for near-term consumer spending.

Graph showing the dramatic rise in student loan debt in last 15 yearsThe Federal Reserve’s latest consumer credit report shows total outstanding consumer credit at an all-time high in January, up 6.5% from a year ago.

For more details, see highlights of my report below, followed by a link to the full U.S. Outlook, delivered on March 25.

Key observations:
  • Growth in non-revolving credit, mostly auto and student loans, remains robust.
  • Despite increases in consumer credit outstanding in recent years, household debt has been brought under control in the aggregate, giving the green light to additional consumer borrowing in the future.
  • Rising personal income and the low interest rate environment have been instrumental in alleviating the financial burden of U.S. households during this expansion.
  • The only area of concern that remains is the large buildup in student loan debt.
Click here to read my full report.

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