Americans are charging more than it seems
Aug 04, 2021 38 secs

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Credit card balances recently ticked higher, but remain well below pre-pandemic levels.

Why it matters: Higher credit card balances are considered a rough proxy for spending activity and consumer confidence.

By the numbers: According to the New York Fed’s Household Debt and Credit Report, credit card balances increased by $17 billion in Q2 to $787 billion.

Zoom out: The fact that spending is elevated while credit card debt is depressed can be explained by the massive savings accumulated during the early part of the pandemic.

The bottom line: Just because credit card balances remain depressed doesn’t mean consumers aren't spending.

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