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CU lending inches up says Fed report
WASHINGTON (2/8/12)--Credit unions held $225.6 billion in total consumer credit in December, up slightly from $225.1 billion reported in November, according to the most recent Federal Reserve Statistical Release on consumer credit, issued Tuesday.

Credit union non-revolving credit accounted for $187.6 billion of the December total--down   from $188.1 billion in November.

Revolving credit at credit unions increased to $38 billion in December from $37.1 billion in November.

"For the second consecutive month, consumer credit expanded at a faster pace than expected due to rising consumer confidence and a strengthening labor market," Steve Rick, CUNA senior economist, told News Now. "Revolving credit rose $2.8 billion in December for all financial institutions, with credit unions providing $0.9 billion. Credit union credit-card balances rose 2.4% in December, the fastest pace since the 1.8% growth rate reported in December of 2010.

"It appears households have put on hold their deleveraging in order to satisfy some pent up demand for consumer durables," he added. "December's annualized consumer credit growth rate--9.3%--is not sustainable, due to slow wage growth and low national savings rates."

In the U.S., total consumer credit increased at annual rate of 7.5% in the fourth quarter.  Revolving credit rose at an annual rate of 4.5%, and nonrevolving credit climbed 9%.

In December, overall consumer credit increased at an annual rate of 9.25%.

The Fed report includes credit card debt, auto loans and other debt not secured by real estate. It excludes home mortgages and home equity lines of credit.

To read the Fed release, use the link.
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