Consumers Turn Frugal On Cards but Nonrevolving Credit Up Sharply


Total consumer credit rose $19.9 billion in August but credit card debt fell after a sharp rise last month.

The Fed's Consumer Credit report shows consumer credit increased at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5-1/4 percent.

  • Revolving credit decreased at an annual rate of 2-1/4 percent
  • Nonrevoving credit increased at an annual rate of 7-3/4 percent

Econoday commented "The August decline in credit card debt shows consumers acting more frugal and paying down some of July's splurge, and larger payments due on their growing student loan or car loan debt may also be imposing necessary spending austerity."

Revolving credit was down two out of the last three months but was up a whopping 10.5% last month so it's hard to suggest a trend change toward frugality.

Moreover, It's October 7, and we are just now finding about about consumer credit in August.

As a practical matter, the monthly report almost seems useless. The long-term charts are far more interesting.

More coming up as soon as I finish the charts.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

Comments (11)
No. 1-5

The long-term suggests that we've reached peak-debt. In Ireland, for the first time in years, houseprices have declined in Q3. Now while that may in part be because of Brexit and increase in supply, it also suggests the affordability has reached its peak. Call me naive, but I find some comfort in the increasing calls from within Europe to end the NIRP and QE madness. Wishful thinking perhaps, but how can this possibly continue without creating destruction? Y'all over there in the USA haven't seen that yet, I sincerely hope you won't.


well we are still moving along at a steady clip . 20 % increase in total, 2014 over 2018.


This data is just another victim of fraudulent inflation data. Anything that is measured in dollars (as opposed to units sold for example) is easy to ignore. When prices rise by double digits the market for them looks healthy because they sold more this quarter than last quarter, IN DOLLARS of sales. But, when I have to cut back on purchases of an item because my income has risen by 10% in 10 years and so many other things are up by double or at least half in that same period how can my buying be supporting an expanding economy?

If I went deeply into debt it is possible, but I have not, my total debt is under $15k for my car loan. But, even at that low rate of debt my standard of living is so bad that I might not even have a roof next year. On what I am told is near perfectly median income for a single head of household.

This is why I do not think we will get through 2020 without very serious consequences. If I can't make it on my income and I am exactly in the middle of households, that means half the people in America are worse off than I am.

If you are in the upper half, get ready for a true category 5 shit storm. And no point shooting the messenger, it is what it is and I really don't care about excuses. I hate socialism as much as anyone here, but, by the end of 2020 it will be a reality and like all things financial it will not rest at some perfect equilibrium point where all can adjust to it. It will overshoot and take years or decades to get to that equilibrium. The most socialist country in the world I have visited is Australia, and even they have decades of work to do to make it right.


This is what a completely dead flat on it's back (for a decade lol!) economy looks like,when half the population needs to borrow or pawn something to fill up there tank………… can probably guess how this ends!

Country Bob
Country Bob

Joe Biden has been exposed as a corrupt politician with early stage alzheimers.

Bernie just had another heart attack, and if he really believed in socialism he would have moved to USSR or Venezuela when he was younger. He talks the talk, but he doesn't believe it. He admitted his medicare for all would bankrupt the USA in a matter of months.

And Pocahontas is just insane. Every woman who has expressed an opinion wants a female president, but not that one. Warren would set female politicians back several generations, just as Obama set racial relations back by decades. The only person who could possibly be happy about Warren staying in the race is Donald Trump, who will absolutely destroy her.


There is no doubt there are structural problems in the US economy (and even worse structural issues in other G7 economies).

That doesn't mean the situation can't be made much much much worse by socialist policies.

Trump's biggest weaknesses all revolve around capitulating to the old guard in Washington who are closet socialists. Too much debt. Too many acts of war against foreign countries but also against the USA outside the DC beltway. Too much central economic planning.

Trump is the least stinky shirt in the laundry at the moment, so he will win. But if he can mow down a few more Washington DC insiders he will win by a landslide.

His sometimes abrasive personality doesn't matter in a swamp. They are all abrasive

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