Further, recall that traditionally when measuring a consumer's confidence in the economy, and their ability to grow their income, the best proxy is a simple one - their credit card. Unfortunately, in the New Normal that is not the case, and as the chart below shows, revolving credit has barely budged from its post-Lehman lows and is still about 20% away from its previous all time high.
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Moments ago the Fed reported that consumer credit number for March: at $17.5 billion, it not only blew out the expectation of a $15.5 billion increase (although when one adds last month's $3.5 billion downward revision to $13.0 billion the two month total actually missed), but was the highest monthly increase since February 2013. That's the good news.
The bad news was once again in the composition: of this $17.5 billion $16.4 billion was non-revolving debt, or about 94% of total. The "good", or revolving, credit card debt? Only $1.1 billion.
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