US consumer debt levels hit $4.48 trillion

U.S. consumer debt levels beat economists’ expectations in February, climbing nearly $42 billion to a total of nearly $4.5 trillion, according to the Reserve’s consumer credit report. Federal released Thursday. File photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License picture

April 7 (UPI) — U.S. consumer debt levels soared by nearly $45 billion in February to $4.48 trillion, according to the Federal Reserve’s consumer credit report released Thursday.

This equates to a seasonally adjusted annual increase of 11.3%, the report shows, exceeding economic expectations.

Revolving credit grew at an annual rate of 20.7%, while non-revolving credit grew at an annual rate of 8.4%. Open-ended revolving credit, including credit cards and lines of credit, now totals over $1 trillion.

the the report goes back in the 1940s.

Non-revolving credit rose 8.4% to $3.4 trillion in February, a gain well above the 2.4% it rose in January.

Inflation in the United States continued to rise, climbing more than 7% in January year over year, according to the Commerce Department.

Economists believe there are a number of reasons inflation is rising at a rate not seen in 40 years, including housing costs and, more recently, energy prices.

In March, the Labor Department reported in its monthly consumer price index that inflation rose 7.9% in the 12 months ending February, the largest 12-month increase since 1982.

Also in March, the three major U.S. credit bureaus, Equifax, Experian and TransUnion, announced new medical debt reporting measures that are expected to remove nearly 70% of medical recoveries from consumer credit reports.

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