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).
Americans took on another $10.9 billion in debt in September, according to data released by the Federal Reserve. That pushed total consumer debt to a seasonally adjusted $3.95 trillion. American indebtedness is growing at a 3.3% rate.
But there are signs that American credit card borrowing is slowing down and that’s not good news in an economy built on consumer spending and debt.
Last summer, US Global Investors CEO Frank Holmes called debt “the mother of all bubbles.” That bubble continues to blow up.
US consumer debt increased even more than expected in September. According to data released by the Federal Reserve, total credit rose by $20.8 billion, an annualized rate of 6.6%. Analysts had expected an increase in the neighborhood of $18 billion. It was the largest increase in overall consumer indebtedness since last year’s holiday season.