Consumer credit

Release Date: Usually released about 35 days after the month under review ends
Release Time: At 4pm US Eastern Time
Released By: The US Federal Reserve

The Consumer Credit report is a monthly report released by the US Federal Reserve Bank. The report measures the change in the total value of outstanding consumer credit that requires installment payments.

Consumer credit is usually in the form of credit card spending and personal loans. Consumer credit is therefore an indicator of consumer demand that shows the value of credit in a country (via credit cards), personal loans and purchases with a delay in the repayment.

Time of Release

The Consumer Credit report is usually released about 35 days after the month under review ends. This would mean that the data for January would be out sometime in March. The time of release is 4pm US Eastern Time. The data is released on this webpage of the US Federal Reserve and also on independent news feeds from Bloomberg and Thomas Reuters.

Interpreting the Data

The Consumer Credit report is a low impact news event and cannot be traded directly because of its low market impact. However, it can be used as an indicator of consumer spending.

Consumer credit is directly correlated with consumer spending and consumer confidence. Rising levels of consumer credit are a sign that lenders feel comfortable to issue loans to consumers, who are also confident in their credit status and financial position and eager to spend money. This is a USD positive scenario.

In an economy where consumer confidence and spending are low, it is a sign that people are unsure of the economy, uncomfortable about their financial status and would prefer to keep their cards and spend little cash. This is a USD negative situation, and was seen very clearly in the immediate aftermath of the collapse of the housing market and the global financial crisis.


While Consumer Credit is not directly tradable, it is a very good indicator of Consumer Confidence, which in itself is a high impact news release. Therefore, attention should be paid to the readings obtained from the consumer credit reports as this will dictate what the Consumer Confidence and GDP reports are likely to be later on.