by Wolf Richter
Let the good times roll.
Total consumer credit – or less soothingly, consumer debt – rose 4.8% in the second quarter from a year earlier, or by $176 billion, to $3.87 trillion (not seasonally adjusted), the highest ever, according to the Federal Reserve. This includes credit-card debt, auto loans, and student loans, but not mortgage-related debt. Given how passionate Americans normally are in spending money they don’t have – that 4.8% increase is moderate: In 2011, increases exceeded 11%.
The chart below shows the progression of consumer debt since 2006. After the seasonal hangover in Q1, following the spend-and-borrow party in Q4, consumer debt set a new record in Q2: