U.S. consumer credit surges at fastest pace since 2001
Outstanding consumer credit, a measure of non-real estate debt, rose by a seasonally adjusted $29.67 billion in March from the prior month, the Federal Reserve said. The 10% seasonally adjusted annual growth rate was the fastest growth pace since November 2001.
Revolving credit outstanding, mostly credit cards, increased at a 14.16% annual pace in March, the fastest pace since July 2000. Revolving credit rose at a revised rate of 3.72% in February.
Nonrevolving credit outstanding, including student and auto loans, increased at a 8.50% annual pace in March compared with February's revised 5.17% growth rate.
The sharp increase in consumer borrowing follows months of modest economic growth. While the economy has been producing jobs at a healthy pace, overall economic activity has slowed. ■