Consumer Sentiment and Outstanding Credit Increase

According to the National Association of Manufacturers’ (NAM) Monday Economic Report for this week, the Index of Consumer Sentiment rose from 64.9 in January to 66.4 in February, a 13-month high, according to preliminary data from the University of Michigan and Thomson Reuters. Expectations of future conditions, however, slipped in February.

U.S. consumer credit outstanding rose 2.9% at the annual rate in December, slowing from 8.4% in November. Revolving credit, which includes credit cards and other credit lines, grew 7.3% in December, easing from 15.6% growth in November. Even with some deceleration in the latest month, Americans have continued to be willing to take on new debt as revolving credit has soared 14.8% over the past 12 months.

Nonrevolving credit, which includes auto and student loans, increased 1.5% in December, slowing from 6.0% in November. On a YoY basis, nonrevolving credit has risen 5.6%. Overall, U.S. consumer credit outstanding has increased 7.8% over the past 12 months.