Student Loans Account for 59.5% of the Consumer Credit Added in 2013

The Federal Reserve recently published the G.19 and the 2013 results were pretty dismal for a consumer driven economy. Consumer credit increased a respectable $181.7 billion. This was a 6.2% gain from 2012.  Revolving credit growth increased a meager $16.1 billion for 1.9% gain compared to 2012. This number is very close to last year’s 1.5% inflation rate. Most of the consumer credit action occurred on the non-revolving credit side of the ledger which grew $165.6 billion or 8% compared to 2012. When we take out the portion issued by the Federal Government and educational institutions for student loans, we get $57.4 billion was spent on cars and other stuff. This amount is 2.8% higher than in 2012. By far the largest percentage of the consumer credit increase is attributable to student loans. It grew $108.2 billion or 5.2% compared to 2012. Student loans account for 59.5% of the total consumer credit added. At least for me this explains why our consumer driven economy is having trouble growing faster than 2% per year. The consumer is still hunkering down.