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Industry Spotlight > Broker Dealers

Consumer Debt Rises as Credit Card Balances Fall

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After falling in March, consumer borrowing increased by $1 billion in April, the Federal Reserve announced Monday, June 7. U.S. consumer credit excluding real estate loans stood at $2.44 trillion for the month, a 0.5% annualized growth rate.

Revolving credit, which includes credit cards, decreased at an annual rate of 12%, or $8.5 billion, to $838 billion. However, non-revolving credit, which includes student and auto loans, increased at an annual rate of 7%, or $9.4 billion.

The report is in line with what Briggs Matsko, a registered representative with California Fringe Benefit, a subsidiary of Lincoln Financial Advisors, is seeing from his clients. Matsko, who manages $300 million in assets, says he’s noticed a change in behavior over the last three to six months.

“They’re not as afraid,” he explains. “It’s certainly not like it was in 2006 or 2007, but their considering the car purchase, or renovations to their home. A year ago, it was out of the question, and they we’re wondering if they would ever be able to retire.”

The news did little to help financial markets. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 115.48 points, or 1.16%, to 9,816.49 at the closing bell. The broad market S&P 500 Index closed down 14.41 points, or 1.35%, to 1050.47.


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