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Consumer Credit Hits New Record Despite Unexpected Decline In Credit Card Usage

After several months of blowout consumer credit prints, including two consecutive months in which revolving (i.e., credit card) debt, rose after shrinking 10 of the previous 11 months, America’s credit-funded spending spree abruptly slowed in April, when total consumer credit rose by $18.6BN, down from $25.8BN in March (since revised conveniently to $18.6BN), and missing expectations of $20.5BN. Overall, total consumer credit rose at a 5.3% annual rate in April to a new all time high of $4.238 trillion.

What was most notable about the April data, however, is that revolving credit actually declined by $1.96 billion to $964 billion, well below the record high of $1.094 trillion reached in December 2019.

This however was more than offset by yet another burst higher in nonrevolving credit (auto and student loans), which rose $20.6BN to $3.274TN, a new all time high.