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Total consumer credit increased at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.4% to hit $3.04 trillion, according to a Federal Reserve Consumer Credit report (link opens a PDF) released today.
After increasing at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.1% for July, this month's credit picked up speed due primarily to an 8.0% seasonally adjusted annual rate increase in non-revolving credit (fixed installments such as car payments).
In absolute terms, analysts underestimated August's credit crunch, expecting a $12.9 billion increase instead of its actual $13.6 billion advance.
Revolving credit (no fixed number of payments such as credit cards) remains an area of concern for the economy. An increase in revolving credit can serve as a sign of more confident consumers, but August's 1.2% seasonally adjusted annual rate decrease is the third straight month of slides. That's the longest-lasting slump in three years.