Monday, November 9, 2009

Consumer credit continues falling

In my previous post I discussed all consumer loans outstanding.  The data is produced quarterly so there is a bit of a lag.  (Another possible post, the desire for high frequency data and how it can sometimes trip you up.)  Consumer credit (all debt but mortgage debt) is reported monthly so we can get a feel of whats coming down the pike.  As the chart shows it continues to fall.

The chart is only of recent history but the US has not experienced this since WW II.   Unfortunately the rate of decline continues to accelerate. 

I would personally feel more confident in this recovery if consumer debt at least stopped cliff diving.  Whether credit is falling due to less demand or bank restrictions doesn't matter at this point.  Until the consumer starts borrowing any recovery will be very tepid and most likely artificial.

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