Another month, another disappointment for all those who hope the consumer will finally "charge it." In November, consumer credit was expected to grow by $14.25 billion, instead it rose by $12.318 billion. However, it was once again the components that were key, because while $11.9 billion or the vast majority of November's credit growth was in the form of car and student loans (i.e., non-revolving), a tiny $458 million was for revolving, or credit card, purchases.
That's the demand side. On the supply side, no surprises here, the bulk of credit creation continues to come from the Federal Government whose contribution can be seen on the chart below courtesy of @Not_Jim_Cramer. In fact, if one excludes the contribution of the Federal government and compares how the current "expansion" matches to the last 11, well... instead of describing it see for yourselves:
Finally, putting it all into perspective, of the total $178 billion in consumer credit expansion in the past 12 months, a tiny $9 billion, or just 5% of total, was to fund credit card purchases. The rest went - you guessed it - into purchases of cars and paying for tuition, for which GM and strateospheric college tuitions are most grateful. And that is the New Normal economy in a nutshell.