U.S. consumer revolving credit for February, mostly credit card debt, topped the $1 trillion record set in December, growing at a solid clip annually. While climbing steadily throughout 2016, consumer credit increased at a 3.5% annual rate of growth in February, according to CardData.
The outlook for U.S. credit card debt is a mixed bag as delinquency and charge-offs are rising for near-prime and sub-prime accounts. However, substantial infrastructure spending by the U.S. could boost consumer confidence and thus credit card usage and debt. But uncertainty reigns with the GOP the big X-factor.
Across the pond, U.K. consumer credit took a sharp turn north in February, despite the Brexit uncertainty, rising to its highest annual growth rate of the past twelve months. U.K. credit card lending settled at £67.3 billion for a 9.3% YOY gain in February, or nearly three times the growth rate in the U.S.
The Bank of England (BOE) reports consumer credit increased by £1.4 billion in February. Total consumer credit grew to £196.0 billion. The three-month annualized and twelve-month growth rates, seasonally adjusted (SA), were 8.7% and 10.5% respectively.
Meanwhile, down-under, Australian credit card outstandings were lackluster, rising by 1.2% year-on-year (YOY) in January. Credit card credit limits increased 1.4% YOY and the number of credit card accounts rose 1.6% YOY in January. The average balance per account in January declined 0.4% YOY to AU$3084, compared to AU$3164 for December, and AU$3096 for January 2016.
Credit card outstandings for January hit AU$51.5 billion, compared to AU$52.8 billion in the prior month, and AU$50.9 billion in January 2016.
Credit card credit limits for January hit AU$151.5 billion, compared to AU$151.1 billion in the prior month, and AU$149.4 billion in January 2016.
At the end of January the number of credit/charge card accounts stood at 16.70 million, compared to 16.69 million for the prior month, and 16.44 million in January 2016.