Cautious American Consumers Cut Back Use of Credit Cards in April

Cautious American Consumers Cut Back Use of Credit Cards in April


Americans borrowed less than expected in April, data released by the Federal Reserve showed Monday, indicating that the precautionary stance many consumers adopted in 2020 may linger even as the pandemic recedes.

Total consumer credit increased $18.6 billion, an annual growth rate of 5.3 percent. This was the third consecutive month of better than five percent growth. But economists had been expecting an even stronger number, with the median forecast at $20 billion, according to Econoday.

March’s figure was revised down significantly. Initially reported as rising $25.8 billion, on Monday the Fed said consumer credit grew by only $18.6 billion. Credit grew by $18.2 billion in February,

Revolving credit, primarily credit cards, shrank by $1.9 billion, an annual rate of contraction of 2.4 percent. Nonrevolving credit, which includes student loans and auto loans, rose by $20.5 billion, an annual growth rate of $7.6 percent.

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