Economic Report: U.S. consumer credit picks up slightly in January from sluggish pace in prior month

by | Mar 7, 2023 | Stock Market

The numbers: Total U.S. consumer credit rose $14.8 billion in January, up from a $10.7 billion gain in the prior month, the Federal Reserve said Tuesday. That translates into a 3.7% annual rate, up from a revised 2.7% gain in the prior month. Economists had forecast a $25 billion gain in consumer credit in January, according to the Wall Street Journal forecast.

The December increase in borrowing was the smallest monthly gain since November 2020. Key details: Revolving credit, like credit cards, rose 11.1% in January after a 6.9% gain in the prior month. Nonrevolving credit, typically auto and student loans, rose 1.2% down from a 1.3% growth rate in the prior month. This category of credit is much less volatile.  The Fed’s data does not include mortgage loans, which is the largest category of household debt. Big picture: On Monday, JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon said that consumers still have a lot of money from pandemic aid. “They’re spending it, jobs are plentiful.” he said. Inflation is taking a toll on big-ticket purchases, while squeezed consumers are using credit cards to make ends meet, said Scott Murray, an economist at Nationwide. Overall, consumers are shying away from auto loans. What they are saying: “We don’t exp …

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