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Monday, December 07, 2009

Consumer Credit Declines for 9th Straight Month

by Calculated Risk on 12/07/2009 03:00:00 PM

The Federal Reserve reports:

Consumer credit decreased at an annual rate of 3-1/4 percent in the third quarter of 2009. Revolving credit decreased at an annual rate of 7-1/4 percent, and nonrevolving credit decreased at an annual rate of 1 percent. In October, consumer credit decreased at an annual rate of 1-3/4 percent.
Consumer Credit Click on graph for larger image in new window.

This graph shows the year-over-year (YoY) change in consumer credit. Consumer credit is off 3.6% over the last 12 months - and falling fast. The previous record YoY decline was 1.9% in 1991.

Consumer credit has declined for a record 9 straight months - and declined for 12 of the last 13 months. It is difficult to get a robust recovery without an expansion of consumer credit - unless the recovery is built on business spending and exports (seems unlikely).

Note: The Fed reports a simple annual rate (multiplies change in month by 12) as opposed to a compounded annual rate. Consumer credit does not include real estate debt.