Consumer debt explodes under pressure from high inflation for 40 years

Americans relied on their credit cards to weather the fastest price increases in forty years in February, Federal Reserve data showed Thursday.

Total consumer credit rose $41.98 billion in February, a massive acceleration from January’s $8.9 billion rise, the Fed said. This is one of the largest monthly increases in consumer credit since 1943.

Revolving credit, mostly credit cars, rose at a rate of 20.7% in February, from a 4% gain in January.

Non-revolving loans, mainly car loans and student loans, increased by 8.4%.

Home loans are not included in consumer credit data compiled by the Federal Reserve.

Economists had forecast a much more moderate increase of $16.6 billion.

Consumer prices rose 0.8% in February. Year over year, prices rose 7.9%, the highest inflation since 1982. The cost of groceries jumped 1.4% and rose 8.6% from one year ago. Gasoline prices have increased by 6.6% and 38% per year.


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