US Consumer Credit Growth Slows To Weakest In 7 Months

Following last month's notable slowdown in the growth of consumer credit (to its weakest since Sept '17) expectations were for a bounce but April confirmed search trend data and saw a further slowdown.

As Bianco Research noted ahead of this data, consumer spending has been rolling over into the spring of 2018. The next chart looks at changes in searches for apparel, home improvement, autos, furniture, and more. The dwindling popularity of these types of search has reached the fastest pace of decline since 2009.

Credit searches are also falling, led by home financing. We have offered analysis of credit card delinquencies, which we expect to climb across the top 100 banks to 3.7% over the next year.

And so, against expectations for a $14.00bn rise in Consumer Credit (from $11.62bn), credit growth slowed to just $9.262bn, the weakest growth since September 2017.

After crashing to 5 years lows in March, revolving debt rebounded by 2.263bn in April, but non-revolving debt growth slowed dramatically from adding $13.38bn in March to adding just $6.999bn (to its weakest since Sept 2017)...


The big question - after 4 months of weakness in revolving credit and the notable slowdown in aggregate consumer credit growth: will this be a momentary blip or a lasting shift in trend?

The results are consistent with first-quarter data that showed household spending cooled following a strong run of gains. All that dis-saving (and credit-card-debt engorgement) managed to spike consumer confidence to near record highs...

It also confirms that with the US personal savings level once again near all time lows, and with households no deleveraging on their credit cards, the second quarter is about to get very ugly for the economy which is 70% driven by consumer spending.