Banks are still lending more cash to support the auto industry.
However, consumers are beginning to show signs of strain. In Wells Fargo’s earnings report, the bank revealed that the percentage of auto loans due for more than 30 days increased.
In the second quarter JPMorgan reported growth in the auto loans on its balance sheet, thanks to it having lent out more cash in the second quarter.
Wells Fargo also revealed a rise in auto loan origination in the second quarter.
Wells Fargo CFO Timothy Sloan credited a “strong auto market” for a 7% rise in auto loans compared to a year ago on the bank’s conference call. The bank lent $US3.7 billion to finance car buyers in the last quarter, he said.
Federal Reserve data shows the value of US auto loans rising steadily in the wake of the financial crisis, similar to how student lending has increased.
To be clear, the size of the US auto loan pool remains a fraction of the size of mortgage balances. And the volume of student loans is still bigger than auto loans.
The strength of the auto lending market isn’t showing up in the stock prices of US automakers, however. So far this year both General Motors and Ford are lagging the S&P 500. Going forward, how many auto loans become delinquent could have ane even greater impact on automakers’ sales.