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Chart showing credit card balances are rising for credit unions.

Credit unions and other lenders saw strong gains in credit card balances from April to May, in another sign consumer spending is rebounding from the pandemic.

The Fed’s G-19 Consumer Credit Report released Thursday showed credit unions held $60.6 billion in credit card debt in May. The total is still down 0.9% from a year earlier and down 7.1% from the pre-pandemic month of February 2020. However, it rose 3.4% from April to May — the first month-to-month gain since December 2020 and the strongest monthly gain since December 2019.

Historically, May is the third-strongest month for credit card spending after the holiday months of November and December. Balances typically rise 1% from April to May, based on averages of Fed data from 2010 through 2019.

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Jim DuPlessis

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