May 8, 2020 - Economy & Business

Consumer borrowing plummets as Americans pull back credit card use amid coronavirus lockdowns

Data: FRED; Note: Chart shows flow of revolving consumer credit owned and securitized ; Chart: Axios Visuals
Data: FRED; Note: Chart shows flow of revolving consumer credit owned and securitized ; Chart: Axios Visuals

Americans pulled back on revolving credit — namely their credit card use — as states began to impose shelter-in-place orders, new data from the Federal Reserve shows.

Why it matters: It’s the latest indication of how the coronavirus is changing consumer behavior.

This data is closely watched. How much consumers borrow is an indication of how much they'll spend — a key driver of economic growth.

  • "We expect further declines in revolving credit in the months ahead as consumer spending continues to decline," Nancy Vanden Houten, senior economist at Oxford Economics, wrote in a note.

Go deeper: The emerging coronavirus economy

Go deeper