New data from the Federal Reserve shows that outstanding consumer credit rose by $27.95 billion in November from the previous month, the largest increase in 16 years.
According to Fox Business, economists had expected an $18 billion increase in November. Total outstanding credit had increased by $20.53 billion in October.
The latest numbers, which include non-real estate debt, grew at an 8.83 percent seasonally adjusted annual rate, the fastest rate in more than two years.
Revolving outstanding credit, made up primarily of credit cards, increased at a 13.3 percent annual pace in November, while non-revolving outstanding credit, mainly student and auto loans, grew at a 7.2 percent annual pace.
The Federal Reserve Bank of New York also announced that household debt totaled $12.955 trillion in the third quarter, up 0.9 percent from the spring – the highest on record.
Last month, a survey of consumer expectations conducted by the New York Fed found that respondents who were told not to apply for credit during the last year dropped by 4.9 percent as of October. The survey also showed an increase in the number of U.S. consumers applying for and obtaining credit, as well as a reduction in the number of credit application rejections.
But while consumer credit rose, consumer confidence declined in December, dropping to a score of 122.1 in December – below the 128.1 expected by economists. The index hit 129.5 in November, reaching its highest mark since November of 2000.
“The decline in confidence was fueled by a somewhat less optimistic outlook for business and job prospects in the coming months,” said Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at The Conference Board. “Despite the decline in confidence, consumers’ expectations remain at historically strong levels, suggesting economic growth will continue well into 2018.”