The March consumer credit headline was a disappointment, increasing by just $7.97 billion, on expectations of a $15.6 billion increase, with the February total revised lower to $18.14 billion. So far so bad. It gets worse when one peeks beneath the surface and finds that discretionary consumer credit in the form of credit card and other revolving loans posted its first decline of 2013, dropping by $1.7 billion, the biggest decline since December's 2.1 billion. So what rose: why debt for purchases of Government Motors and student loans of course, which increased by $9.676 billion in March. In other words: the student bubble keeps getting bigger, more and more GM cars are being bought on subprime credit, while the vast majority of Americans can't even afford to charge toilet paper purchases as the discretionary deleveraging continues.
In the last year, of the $157 billion in total debt issued, $152.6 billion, or 97.5%, is in the form of non-revolving credit. Consumer credit created? A whopping 2.5% of the total or $4 billion.
Finally, who is the primary source of all this free credit? Why Uncle Sam of course (and all US taxpayers by implication, when the student and second subprime car bubble pops of course).