I'm just guessing consumers are coming to terms with either 1) their broken government, 2) the downgrading of their nation's credit rating, or most likely 3) both of the above. That is one stark chart!
Just for good measure, here is another stark chart in it's surrealistic contrast to the one above:
A combination of feeling bad and getting out the credit card? Sounds like Gabrielle Solis from Desparate Housewives. There is actually no good explanation for this. Other factors confusing the issue are lower prices and measured lower consumer spending during this last gigantic leap of credit upward. There just is no apparent logical connection. One interesting uneducated thought (i.e., mine) is that people who can't afford necessities are giving up and reaching for the credit card while those who can afford it are playing it safe and hoarding money. Heck, the fortunate may be buying gold with credit. I don't know but the U.S. economy may just be reaching a tipping point of some kind though. Stay tuned.