Lackluster Retail Sales Report Indicates Slower GDP Growth

Robust consumer spending drove U.S. economic growth in 2019 in the absence of business investment. But, that spending was fueled by heavy borrowing as total credit card debt climbed by $46 billion in the fourth quarter to $930 billion, well above previous pre-recession peak according to the New York Fed. Even more concerning is the fact that the overall percentage of credit card debt 90 days or more past due rose to +5.3% in Q4, an eight-year high.

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