News & Resources

Consumer credit expanded by $7.4 billion in September

Nov 10, 2011 Walt Wojoiechowski

Consumers appear to have taken on more debt in September, perhaps suggesting improved confidence in the economy. A report released Monday by the U.S. Federal Reserve shows consumer credit increased in September by 3.6 percent for a seasonally adjusted $7.4 billion. August consumer credit was revised to a decline of 4.7 percent, which marked the first decline in 11 months. Auto, student and personal loans grew by 5.8 percent during the month, or $8 billion, to reach $1.66 trillion in September. "Households continue to draw down debt," John Herrmann, senior fixed-income strategist at State Street Global Markets in Boston, Massachusetts, told Bloomberg. "As concerns abate, more consumers may move out of the deleveraging camp and start to increase their spending." The figures are on par with a general uptick in consumer spending in the third quarter. However, many analysts maintain that consumer debt remains a chief obstacle to improved consumer confidence and credit decisions. Overall, the paring of credit card debt suggests general unease among consumers.