Payment Card News

Robust Credit

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This year came in like a lion, as the pace of revolving credit picked up substantially in January. Americans added $5.4 billion in revolving credit in the first 31 days of 2003, compared to $3.1 billion for January 2002. Bank credit card debt (excluding store and gas credit cards) at the end of the fourth quarter was $672.3 billion, or roughly 90% of total revolving credit. At the end of January, consumers racked up $750.0 billion in revolving credit according to figures recently released by the Federal Reserve. Revised figures showed that December was not as strong as previously reported. December’s revised annual growth rate is +1.4%, compared to +2.6% reported last month. However, November was significantly better than previously reported. November’s revised annual growth rate is 4.9%, compared to the revised 0.6%% reported one month ago. At the end of January, Americans were $2016.1 billion in debt, excluding home mortgages.

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|_8. REVOLVING CREDIT HISTORICAL ($billions) |
|_. | Jan04 | Dec03 | Nov03 | Oct03 | Sep03 | Aug03 | Jul03 |
|_. GRWTH: | 8.6% | 1.4 | 4.9 | 5.2 | 6.8 | 3.4 | 1.4 |
|_.$OWED: | $750.0 | 744.6 | 743.8 | 740.5 | 737.3 | 729.1 | 726.8|
|_. | Jun03 | May03 | Apr03 | Mar03 | Feb03 | Jan03 | Dec02|
|_. GRWTH: | -2.4% | 7.7 | 3.4| 4.1| 5.9| 5.2 | -6.7|
|_. $OWED: | $725.9 | 727.9 | 722.8| 720.7| 718.6| 715.5 | 712.4|
|_8. | Source: Federal Reserve; revised figures as of 3/05/04;|
|_8. For complete historical data visit CardData (www.carddata.com)|

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