Consumer Credit: Up for a Fourth Straight Month

You can’t keep an addict down for too long.

U.S. consumer credit was up again in January — keeping the streak alive for a fourth straight month. Total Consumer Credit was up $5 billion, a 2.5% annualized increase, to $2.412 trillion. Non-revolving credit (e.g., auto and consumer loans) jumped another $9.3 billion or 6.9%  – a new record exceeding the July 2008 peak.

Total Consumer Credit (% Change, Seasonally Adjusted)

That’s a lot of good news if you’re Ford (NYSE:F), General Motors (NYSE:GM), or Toyota (NYSE:T). This proves once people experience the euphoria of leveraged buying, it’s a tough habit to break. (See “The Number One Reason the US Consumer Will Be Back“)

On a positive note, revolving consumer credit (e.g., credit cards) fell $4.2 billion (6.4%) — still more than a stone’s throw away from the $974 billion record set in July 2008.