If you think that credit to consumers (and by consumers) was being cut, you will see was an understatement. Consumer credit for the month of March was just released and it is the largest percentage drop in almost two decades. The March consumer credit report came in down $11.1 billion. Bloomberg had estimates of -$4 billion and Dow Jones had forecast a -$3.5 billion drop. It looks like this is actually a record drop measured by dollar terms.
February’s consumer credit report was revised to being down $8.1 billion from down $7.5 billion originally.
This total number is $2,551 trillion dollars, but that is a -5.2% growth rate according to the Fed data.
Revolving credit was $945.9 billion, a drop of $5.5 billion and a contraction of 6.8% annually.
The non-revolving credit was $$1.605 trillion, a drop of $5.7 billion and a contraction of 4.2% annually.
You can decide on your own if this is banks still contracting their credit or whether it is consumers finally deciding to migrate toward a cash economy. Either way, keep in mind that this was March data and therefore was before much of the new more stable confidence and spending.
JON C. OGG