Payment Card News

Debt Rebound

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After an anemic February, Americans picked up the pace in March as revolving credit grew at the same 4.1% annualized rate as one-year ago. Consumers added $2.6 billion to revolving credit during March compared to a mere $200 million in February. According to revised figures released last week by the Federal Reserve, the growth in February was only 0.4% instead of the previously reported 2.5%. At the end of March 2004, Americans owed $755.8 billion in revolving credit, compared to $720.7 billion for March 2003. 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, according to CardData (www.carddata.com). It is expected that first quarter bank credit card debt will come in around $659 billion, reflecting a 2% seasonal decline. At the end of March, Americans were $2022.5 billion in debt, excluding home mortgages.

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|_8. REVOLVING CREDIT HISTORICAL ($billions)|
|_. | Mar 04 | Feb 04 | Jan04 | Dec03 | Nov03 | Oct03 | Sep03|
|_. GRWTH: | 4.1% | 0.4 | 13.0 | 2.2 | 4.9 | 5.2 | 6.8|
|_. $OWED: | $755.8 | 753.2 | 753.0 | 745.4 | 743.8 | 740.5 | 737.3|
|_. | Aug 03 | Jul03 | Jun03 | May03 | Apr03 | Mar03 | Feb03|
|_. GRWTH: | 3.4% | 1.4 | -2.4 | 7.7 | 3.4 | 4.1 | 5.9|
|_. $OWED: | $729.1 | 726.8 | 725.9 | 727.9 | 722.8 | 720.7 | 718.6|
|_8. Source: Federal Reserve; revised figures as of 5/07/04;|
|_8. For complete historical data visit CardData (www.carddata.com)|

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