Consumer credit rises more than expected in September

The US consumer is rolling.

Consumer credit balances rose by $US28.91 billion in September, or 10% at an annualized rate, more than expected.

Expectations were for the report to show consumer credit expanded by $US18 billion in September after a $US16.1 billion increase in August.

According to the Federal Reserve, consumer credit increased at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 7.5% during the third quarter. Revolving credit increased at an annual rate of 6.5%, while nonrevolving credit increased at an annual rate of 8%. In September, consumer credit increased at an annual rate of 10%.

Total consumer credit outstanding, both owned and securitized, was $US3.5 trillion at the end of September. Revolving credit, which is seen as a proxy for credit card debt outstanding, totaled $US925.2 billion of this at the end of September.

Car loans, which are tabulated quarterly, totaled $US1.03 trillion at the end of the third quarter, up from $US998.1 billion at the end of Q2.

Student loans outstanding totaled $US1.303 trillion at the end of Q3, up from $US1.273 trillion at the end of Q2.

Over the last few years, consumer credit has been expanding about 6%-7% per month, indicating broad improvement in the consumer, the engine of the US economy.

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