According to recent Federal Reserve data, consumer credit increased overall by $26.5 billion in March after rising by $15 billion in February.
The Federal Reserve reports that total revolving debt in March was $1.239 trillion, up from $1.221 trillion in February.
Revolving debt increased by more than 17% on an annual basis in March, significantly greater than the 5.7% increase in February.
Additionally, recent research from PYMNTS provides a glimpse into who is taking on this debt, with 42% of millennials and 27% of Gen Xers saying they had increased their use of credit products in the past year “significantly,” and for everyday purchases.
This trend has continued from last month, when Mastercard released quarterly earnings showing consumers using their cards for everyday expenses.
A majority of consumers still carry a balance, since only 45% of consumers claim to pay their payments in full each month. According to PYMNTS data, the average balance across generations is more than $4,500. Seniors and baby boomers held the greatest average balances, totaling more than $5,100.
And according to the most recent PYMNTS survey, 60% of adult U.S. consumers (including nearly 75% of millennials) were living paycheck-to-paycheck as of March 2023. In this category, 87% have at least one credit card, and 84% of those cards have balances.
Additionally, a third of grocery buyers have shifted to store brands or private label goods to save money, according to further PYMNTS data.
“Trading down on quality is the one habit in which grocery shoppers minimize costs even more aggressively than their retail counterparts,” PYMNTS wrote last week. “Thirty-six percent of grocery shoppers purchase cheaper alternatives of the same products, such as store brands; this share is 35% for retail shoppers.”