U.S. Economic and Consumer Trends Vary in Third Quarter

November 30, 2023

THE LATEST EQUIFAX MARKET PULSE PRESENTATION SHARED POSITIVE NEWS FOR THE U.S. IN THAT HEADLINE INFLATION AND CORE CPI INFLATION ARE CONTINUING TO EASE. Meanwhile, U.S. economic growth rose in the third quarter of 2023 with real gross domestic product (GDP) up at an annual rate of 4.9% compared to an increase of 2.1% in the second quarter. However, during the same period, the rate of consumer real disposable personal income slowed while U.S. household financial stress reached its highest point since July 2020.  

“Consumers around the world are going to continue to face a variety of headwinds in the near term but in the U.S. in particular, higher mortgage and auto interest rates as well as a slowing global economy will continue to have an impact,” said Maria Urtubey, Equifax Risk Advisor. “However, we’re hopeful that the U.S. will see interest rates steady or even potentially reduce, providing more individuals with the opportunity to expand their financial possibilities in 2024.”

The latest Equifax U.S. National Consumer Credit Trends Reports (Portfolio and Originations) for September show: 

  • Total U.S. consumer debt is $17.12 trillion as of September 2023, up 4.2% over a year ago.

  • First mortgage originations through July 2023 have continued decreasing year-over-year due to higher interest rates but are still above 2014 levels. Mortgage delinquency rates, on the other hand, are still very low.

  • Auto originations have decreased year-to-date as well, while the subprime share continues to drop.

  • Bankcard limits originations have grown year-over-year.

For more information, download the latest consumer credit trends report here.