Research and Statistics

Fed report shows decrease in credit card use


Credit card balances shrank in October, as the tightening of credit by banks made it more difficult for consumers to put charges on their plastic.

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See updated story:Consumer credit usage falls in October

Credit card balances shrank in October, as the tightening of credit by banks made it more difficult for consumers to put charges on their plastic.

According to the Federal Reserve’s monthly G.19 report on consumer credit, the revolving credit category — made up almost exclusively of credit card debt — saw a 0.2 percent decline in October. Previously, the Fed had reported that revolving credit grew in September at an annualized rate of 1.2 percent. However, that number was revised in the current report to 3.1 percent. Overall, revolving debt declined to $976.1 billion from a level of $976.3 billion in September.

Meanwhile, nonrevolving credit dropped 2.5 percent in October. The nonrevolving debt segment of the report includes a variety of types of lending, primarily auto loans, student loans and loans for mobile homes, boats or trailers.

Taken as a whole, consumer credit (revolving and nonrevolving) went down 1.6 percent to $2.578 trillion, a decrease from $2.581 trillion in the prior reading.

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