This whole, short, post is a must read. But here's a snippet:
"Nothwithstanding the fact that the massive growth in student loans is - in and of itself - quite horrifying, but you'll note that it looks like the so-called household "deleveraging" is coming to an end. In fact, as we've discussed in the past, the "deleveraging" was really the erasing - writing off - of credit card, auto and mortgage debt by the big banks. If your pour through the numbers in the report that I linked above, you'll see that a preponderance of spending took place in food and gasoline. These are necessities that people often use credit cards to purchase. Ergo, the growth in consumer credit. To the extent that retail sales are "growing," the "growth" is fueled by 1) inflation and 2) the purchasing of necessities on credit."