Economic Report: Signs of ‘fickle’ consumer as borrowing slows in July

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Consumer borrowing slowed in July after strong gain in the prior two months, according to Federal Reserve data released Wednesday. 

Total consumer credit increased $17 billion. That’s an annual growth rate of 4.7%. Credit rose $37.9 billion in June, the largest gain since early 2006 and rose $34 billion in May.

Economists has been expecting a $26 billion gain in July, according to the Wall Street Journal forecast. 

“Overall, the consumer remains fickle, driven by changing stimulus and the delta variant,” said T. J. Connelly, head of research at Contingent Macro.

The data does not include mortgage loans, which is the largest category of household debt.

Revolving credit, like credit cards, rose 6.7% in July after a 22.4% gain in the prior month. 

Nonrevolving credit, typically auto and student loans, rose 4.1% in July after a 7.2% growth rate in the prior month. Analysts said the drop might be due to weaker auto sales.

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