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Consumer credit outstanding expanded by a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 8.5% over the month of August 2016, 2.6 percentage points faster than its growth rate in July, 5.9%. According to the report, released by the Federal Reserve Board, there is now $3.69 trillion in outstanding consumer credit. Growth in revolving credit, which is largely composed of credit card debt, contributed to the expansion in total consumer credit.

A house under construction in Livermore, Calif. , in August. New construction of single-family homes is stuck near levels hit during the early 1990s recession. Photo: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg News The U. housing market dragged the economy into a deep recession nearly eight years agoS Could it now insulate the domestic expansion during a fragile period of global growth.

Interest rates on conventional mortgages for newly built homes fell again in August 2016 according to data released by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFHA), extending the decline to 7 consecutive months. The FHFA data show that the average contract rate on the loans fell from 3.64% to 3.60%, while initial fees and charges went from 1.11% to 1.09%. As a result, the average effective interest rate on loans used to purchase newly built homes, which amortizes initial fees over the estimated life of the loan, dropped to 3.68% from 3.74%.

Recently released data from the US Census’ Survey of Construction (SOC) show that 10 percent of single-family homes started in 2015 have 2 or less bedrooms, 43 percent have 3 bedrooms, 36 percent have 4 bedrooms, and 11 percent have 5 or more bedrooms. Three bedroom homes have consistently been the most common type of new single-family home built. However, the share of new homes with 3 bedrooms has declined, going from 54 percent in 2009 to 43 percent in 2015 (Figure 1).