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.
Americans continue to pile up debt, adding to numbers that were already at record levels.
US consumer debt increased by $20.1 billion in August, pushing total consumer credit to a record $3.94 trillion, according to the latest numbers from the Federal Reserve. That comes to a 6.2% annual growth rate.
There are signs that the air may be coming out of the subprime credit card bubble.
According to numbers recently released by Federal Reserve, delinquency rates on credit card balances at commercial banks other than the largest 100 rose to 6.2% in the second quarter of this year. These are credit cards issued by the nearly 5,000 smaller banks in the US. According to Wolf Street, this actually exceeds the peak during the financial crisis and represents a better than 2% jump from a year ago.
Consumer debt hit another record in the first half of 2018, but the rate of borrowing seems to be slowing down. Could this be a sign that the debt-based house of cards economy is close to the point of collapse?
Total consumer debt rose by $176 billion in Q2, a 4.8% year-on-year increase. That pushed total debt to a record $3.87 trillion, according to numbers released by the Federal Reserve.
It’s time to get real. This grand economy everybody keeps telling us about is actually a house of cards built out of cheap money and debt. And it won’t take much to blow it over.
A recent article by Reuters reveals just how precarious the so-called economic recovery really is. According to the report, the bottom 60% of American income-earners accounted for most of the rise in spending over the past two years even as their finances worsened. The data shows that the rise in median expenditures has outpaced before-tax income for the lower 40% of earners in the five years to mid-2017. In other words, poor and middle-class Americans are driving the US economy by spending more than they earn.
The Federal Reserve bumped up interest rates another 25 basis points this week. The target federal funds rate now stands at 1.75%.
“Well, OK,” you might be thinking. “But this is just a bunch of wonkish policy stuff. What’s it to me?”
In a nutshell, it means your debt is going to cost you more. And that’s not good in an America where household debt has spiraled to record levels.
Could the house of credit cards Americans have built be on the verge of collapse?
Earlier this week, the New York Fed released the latest data on US household debt, revealing it has grown to a record $13 trillion. Americans have been spending, but they’ve been putting a lot of it on plastic. Credit card balances grew by $24 billion in the last quarter of 2017 alone. Meanwhile, US consumers owe $1.22 trillion on vehicle loans. This can only go on for so long. And there are indications that the American credit card spending spree may be winding down.
Retail sales unexpectedly fell in January, recording their biggest drop in nearly a year.
Passage of a GOP budget that added $300 billion in new spending has focused plenty of attention on surging federal government debt over the last week or so. But Uncle Sam isn’t the only one running up those credit cards. Everyday Americans are also piling on the debt.
Total household debt soared to a record $13 trillion dollars in 2017, according to the latest data released by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Center for Microeconomic Data.
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.