Consumer Credit Soars, Driven By Near Record Credit Card-Fueled Spending

Tyler Durden's picture

After several months of tepid growth in the revolving consumer credit, i.e., credit card, space, the latest monthly report from the Fed revealed that Americans went on a credit card-funded shopping spree in November, when total revolving credit exploded higher by a massive $11 billion, the highest November increase on record, and the second highest of the post crash period.

The credit card spending spike may explain why November, i.e., early holiday sales, were strong only to tumble in the second half of the holiday spending season as various retailers have already complained.

The spike in revolving credit was more than matched by non-revolving credit, which as usual bounced by a solid $13.5 billion, bringing the total monthly increase in consumer credit to $24.5 billion, far above the revised October print of $16.2 billion and also well above the consensus estimate of $18.4 billion.

As noted above, the biggest contributor of November credit was credit card debt, which surged by $11 billion, to a grand total of just under $1 trillion, or $992.4 billion.

At the same time non-revolving credit, or car and student loans, rose to $2.758 trillion, a $13.5 billion jump in the month.

While hardly a surprise, the Fed revised its student and car loan numbers, which as of Sept 30, stood at $1.4 trillion for student loans, and $1.1 trillion for auto loans, both at all time highs.

Finally, for those wondering who remains the biggest source of post-crisis consumer lending, the chart below should answer that question.

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OfAllElaboratePlans's picture
OfAllElaboratePlans (not verified) Jan 9, 2017 3:26 PM

All the credit card spending were the Hollyweird snowflakes buying their first class plane tickets out of the country. The refunds will be reflected in next months report when they realize the other countries don't want them either.

The central planners's picture

I wish i could be living in the moon for when this shit finally blows.

OfAllElaboratePlans's picture
OfAllElaboratePlans (not verified) The central planners Jan 9, 2017 4:39 PM

'Green cheese' vs. 'govt cheese' ~ is there really a difference?

Yen Cross's picture

  Retail sales were in the shiter, so everyone must be doing 72 month loans[subprime Yugo] before stagflation hits

  I'm fondling one of my 5 toz  Silver Town Buffalo bars, as we speak. 

 Having fun with your ones & zeros Phoneystar?  { usb sticks}

roadhazard's picture

I'm a "dead beat"  I have a zero balance three days after I get the invoice every month.

steve2241's picture

 The correct title should be: "Consumer Debt Soars Due To Need To Maintain Status Quo".

Seasmoke's picture

That's billions more that nobody plans on paying back at 29.99% and $35 fees added.

I guess this really can go on forever. My bad.

Rainman's picture

Coming soon a FICO 'excellent credit ' revision to 100

Iconoclast's picture

Debt is once again replacing income, for the status anxiety zombies.

steve2241's picture

This benefits the banks and the 1% more than the common man.  These loans are given a green light to maintain THEIR status quo, NOT the borrowers! This bails out all the malinvestments made by bad actors, perpetuating the status quo, as all new money placed into circulation winds up in the coffers where it's always ended up.  That's why we need a recession and for banks to fail. Andrew Mellon during the time of the Great Depression: "liquidate labor, liquidate stocks, liquidate farmers, liquidate real estate... it will purge the rottenness out of the system. High costs of living and high living will come down. People will work harder, live a more moral life. Values will be adjusted, and enterprising people will pick up from less competent people."

jamesmmu's picture

This is my favor economic data. The retail sales are weak for the holiday, however, the consumer credit went up, which means Amazon could have a blowout sales. Yes, it sucks, ppl still shopping like no tomorrow. They will regret it.

LawsofPhysics's picture

...or people are putting the heating bill on the credit card.

time will tell.


Yen Cross's picture

 I'm so close to buying a shitload of AMZN  puts.

 Who the fuck buys a pair of shoes, without trying them on?

  That pinhead Bezoscan't even turn a profit.

 I'm tired of seeing his CREEPY rented vans roaming my neighborhood.

vq1's picture

I hate to admit it but I use amazon for everything. I can crowd-source thousands of reviews to find the best quality product at the best price. All the music i want. I buy things, use them and then sell them back on amazon (books, electronics). All shipped to my door. I pay with PayPal so I can dispute charges using them or my cc company. Free returns. And best part is I never have to step foot in a dystopic, hyper-consumerist store. 

I wouldn't invest in amazon, nor am I a loyal customer (as soon as I have a bad experience or something better comes along I'm gone). Just my 2 cents 

Bill of Rights's picture

Which as we can see from the ticker is bad for miners in gold....ODDLY!

TheRideNeverEnds's picture

Bullish! Look at the COMP, things have literally never been better.

rejected's picture

"The credit card spending spike may explain why November, i.e., early holiday sales, were strong only to tumble in the second half of the holiday spending season as various retailers have already complained."

Those retailers didn't have any more shit then they normally have which today is very little. One little 20x20 area in a corner somewhere. Most stores I went in weren't even playing Christmas music. Closest they got was Krismas music,,, Jingle bells and Santa shit.

And anything I was interested in... "We can order that for you, sir". Hell, I can order it myself! Amazon? They have more but I like to see and touch what I am about to purchase. Not some picture with a disclaimer that your item may be different. Then on a $20 item I now have to pay tax AND shipping. Old school stores shipped by rail or truck in large quantities,,, therefore the shipping that was included in the price was miniscule compared to the rip off sellers / shippers today. And on Amazon you are not allowed to complain that your purchase took a month to arrive.

We use credit cards very little, and if we do we pay it off immediately. Many people bitch about the Feds 'printing money' out of thin air' but don't seem to realize they are doing the same thing with their credit cards.

StreetObserver's picture

Well reasoned comment.

If stores don't have a Christmas tree and or signs saying Merry Christmas, we don't spend there.

Damn good guide for the rest of the year too.

I love to taunt the Pushcart People that run small stores with "Happy Holidays" in the window.

"We are looking to buy about a thousand dollars worth of Christmas presents for our big family. 

As we walk out the door, we tell them

"We'll come back to your store whenever we need generic 'holiday' gifts."

Mustafa Kemal's picture

I greeted tbe owner of our local gun store with Happy Holidays and got a reprimand, much like yours.

I asked her where should non-Christians buy their guns? We Buddhists use them also.

StreetObserver's picture

People use credit cards when they are broke. Thanks for the "recovery" Barackass. Why help vote for this clown's legacy with your spending?

Weaponize your wallet, spend as little as possible for the rest of the month. Pay cash when you do spend.

Notice how the credit card numbers are studied, charted, reported?

This is why you should use them in February, even if you have the cash, to help boost President Trump's numbers. Use the cash in small businesses of course.

Sales will be huge in the Spring. Large numbers of lease returns and repos hitting the used car market in February.

Justin Case's picture

Student loans out perform BTC. Whoda thunk it.

lasvegaspersona's picture

After QE of a trillion dollars a year I am surprised that a few billion still matter. Couch change....