US Consumers Upbeat

US consumer debt increased by the most in 5 months in April and topped estimates, suggesting more upbeat sentiment among Americans is supporting borrowing and spending.

Total credit expanded $17.5-B from the prior month following an upwardly revised $11-B gain in March, Federal Reserve figures showed Friday. Revolving debt outstanding increased the most since November while non-revolving credit rose the least since June.

Key Takeaways

  • Steady borrowing adds to other recent data showing the solid jobs market is buoying consumer spending, even as President Trump’s trade policies add to economic uncertainty. Consumption is helping pull the US economy toward its longest-ever expansion in July.
  • The labor market, long underpinning the economic expansion, stumbled in May with a 75,000 payroll gain that missed all estimates. Wage gains were also less than forecast.
  • Revolving credit outstanding, which includes credit card debt, increased $7-B after a $2-B drop, showing consumers felt more comfortable taking on debt.
  • Non-revolving debt outstanding was up $10.5-B after a $13-B rise. Such debt includes loans for school and autos.
  • Credit expanded at an annual rate of 5.2% in April, after growing 3.3% in March.
  • Economists surveyed by projected the credit gauge would rise by $13-B
  • Lending by the federal government, which is mainly for student loans, rose by almost $1-B before seasonal adjustment.
  • The consumer credit report does not track debt secured by real estate, such as home equity lines of credit and home mortgages.

Have a terrific week.

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