Americans are feeling the pinch of inflation. Wages are up but consumers are worse off. Average hourly earnings have risen by 5.5% over the last year. But factoring in rising costs, real earnings are down 2.6%. So, how are Americans making ends meet?
They’re charging it.
American consumers ran up more debt in December, wrapping up a year in which consumer debt increase at the fastest pace in five years.
This could prove problematic for the Federal Reserve as it contemplates raising interest rates.
American consumers piled on more debt in October as inflation continues to squeeze their pocketbooks.
Consumer debt grew by $16.9 billion, an annual increase of 4.6% (seasonally adjusted), according to the latest data released by the Federal Reserve. That raised total consumer debt to over $4.38 trillion.
American consumers piled on more debt in September as higher prices squeezed wallets.
Consumer credit grew by $29.9 billion in September, bringing the total to $4.37 trillion, according to the latest data from the Federal Reserve. The increase in consumer debt nearly doubled the consensus estimate of a $15.5 billion increase.
Consumer borrowing has slowed somewhat from the record level we saw in June, but Americans continue to pile on the debt.
Consumer debt grew by $14.4 billion in August to $4.35 trillion, according to the latest data from the Federal Reserve. That represents a 4% increase.
This follows on the heels of a 4.8% increase in July after a record 10.6% increase in June.
After posting a 10.4% increase in May, consumer debt continued to expand, growing by a record rate in June.
Consumer credit grew by $37.69 billion in June, according to the latest data from the Federal Reserve. That represents a 10.6% increase. The Fed also revised the May number up from $35.3 billion to $36.6 billion.
Are consumers getting close to the end of their road of debt?
There are some indications that they might be and that’s not good news for an economy built on consumers spending money they don’t have.
Consumer debt set another record in September, but the pace of borrowing appears to be slowing. This could signal trouble for an economy built on American consumers spending money they don’t have.
Total consumer debt grew by $9.5 billion in September, according to the most recent data released by the Federal Reserve. That represents an annualized increase of 2.8% and pushed total consumer indebtedness to a new record of $4.15 trillion (seasonally adjusted).
Consumers continued to pile on debt in August, according to the latest data released by the Federal Reserve. But credit card debt fell slightly, raising a troubling question: are consumers close to maxing out the plastic?
Total consumer credit grew by another $17.9 billion in August. That represents an annualized increase of 5.2% and pushes total consumer indebtedness to a new record of $4.14 trillion (seasonally adjusted).