US Credit Card Debt Shrinks For Only Second Time Since 2013 As Student, Auto Loans Hit All Time High

One month after a near record surge in consumer credit driven by a spike in credit card debt, the US consumer went into mini hibernation to start the summer, when total consumer credit rose by just $10.2 billion, far below the $15 billion estimate, bringing the consumer credit - both revolving and non-revolving - total to $3.908 trillion.

And while non-revolving credit, i.e. student and auto loans, maintained its monthly ascent in line with the historical trend, growing by $10.4 trillion, the surprise was the unexpected shrinkage in revolving, or credit card debt, which declined by $185 million in June; this was only the second drop in US credit card debt since 2013, with March of 2018 the only other recent decline.

And while the shrinkage in credit card debt will prompt some questions about the resilience of the US consumer as the US economy entered the summer, the recent dramatic upward revision to personal savings notwithstanding, one place where there were no surprises, was in the total amount of student and auto loans: here we got the latest quarterly update for Q2 and, as expected, both numbers hit fresh all time highs, with a record $1.532 trillion in student loans outstanding, an increase of $8 billion in the quarter, auto debt also hit a new all time high of $1.131 trillion, an increase of $18 billion in the quarter.