Consumer Credit Outstanding Surges in February, New Factory Orders Soar

According to the National Association of Manufacturers’ (NAM) Monday Economic Report for this week, U.S. consumer credit outstanding jumped 11.3% at an annual rate in February. Revolving credit – credit cards and other credit lines – soared 20.7% in February. Revolving credit has risen 9.7% over the past 12 months, a very solid reading.

Nonrevolving credit – auto loans, student loans, etc. – increased 8.4% in February. On a YoY basis, nonrevolving credit has increased 5.6%. Overall, U.S. consumer credit outstanding has risen 6.5% over the past 12 months, the strongest YoY reading since February 2017.

New factory orders excluding transportation equipment have soared 12.6% YoY, or 13.4%. At the same time, new orders for core capital goods (nondefense capital goods excluding aircraft) declined 0.2% from a record $80.3 billion in January to $80.1 billion in February. Core capital goods orders still increased by a solid 11.0% over the past 12 months.

Factory shipments increased 0.6% from $537.9 billion in January to $541.0 billion in February, an all-time high. On a YTD basis, factory shipments (excluding transportation equipment) have risen 13.7% or 14.4% with transportation equipment excluded. In addition, core capital goods shipments increased 0.3% from $79.3 billion in January to a record $79.6 billion in February, with 12.5% growth over the past 12 months.