Total Credit to Private Non-Financial Sector, © BIS, quarterly change in billions of dollars:
In both cases after the increase from zero there is a leveling off. It was higher in the 1990s, this leveling, than at present. But not much.
Look at it a different way. I put "Total Credit to Private Non-Financial Sector" in billions on a graph twice. I indexed the blue one to equal 100 at First Quarter 1991, which is the first date circled on Graph #1. I indexed the red one to equal 100 at Second Quarter 2011, the second circled date. The new graph compares the two periods of growth:
Then what the heck, credit use is good for growth, right? So I made a similar graph, indexing the same two dates. But instead of looking at credit, this time we look at real GDP:
The gap between red and blue is bigger on the GDP graph than on the Credit graph. This suggests that GDP grows more slowly than credit. To confirm that, compare the two blue lines. Both start at 100. By the end, credit has climbed to 170, while real GDP to less than 140.
I expect the economy in the next few years to be vigorous, but it looks to be less vigorous now than the 1990s.