US credit-card debt rose for the first time since 2008. What’s hilarious about this whole observation, as reported by the FED, is that it’s an indicator that a) Americans are spending more, b) Americans have a short memory.
Part of the inability to recover from the 2008 crash, and why the crash took place in the first place, was the unmanageable debt load carried by Americans. Now, it seems spending is going up, and it’s not just spending with money on hand, but rather money on credit.
Not a good habit to get into.
The rise in December saw consumer credit increase by $6.1 billion, or 3.0%, to $2.41 trillion. It was the Christmas season, but the increase was more than expected by economists.
The Fed also revised up November consumer credit, saying it rose $2.0 billion instead of an originally reported $1.3-billion gain. Consumer borrowing also rose in October.
The report on December consumer borrowing showed revolving credit, which is mostly credit cards, increased $2.3 billion, or 3.5%, to $800.5 billion.
Consumer spending is essential to the economy, yet spending on credit perhaps does more harm than good. It’s not credit card spending that helps the economy recovery, but rather housing spending (what do you buy that’s bigger than a house?) Those numbers lagging behind revolving credit climbing in December, by $3.8 billion, or 2.8%, to $1.61 trillion.