Payment Card News

March Debt

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Consumer revolving credit, mostly credit card debt, continued its downward trend in March and revised figures now show six months of decline. Americans clipped $5.4 billion off total consumer revolving credit in March. Lower credit limits and reduced personal income continue to contribute to the sluggish growth. Revolving credit now stands at $945.9 billion in March and declining at a 6.8% annual rate. In February, revolving credit dipped by a revised $9.7 billion reflecting an annual contraction ratio of 12.1%, according to new data released by the Federal Reserve. Bank credit card debt (excluding store and gas credit cards) at the end of the first quarter was about $805 billion or roughly 85% of total revolving credit, according to CardData (www.carddata.com). Store and gas credit cards had about $100 billion in outstandings at year-end 2008. At the end of March, Americans were $2551 billion in debt, excluding home mortgages.

         REVOLVING CREDIT HISTORICAL ($billions)
        Mar 09    Feb 09    Jan 09   Dec 08   Nov 08   Oct 08
GRWTH:   -6.8%    -12.1     -0.7     -8.2     -7.1      -0.1
$OWED:  $945.9     951.3    961.0    961.6    968.1     976.8
     Source: Federal Reserve; revised figures as of 5/7/09;
 For complete historical data, visit CardData (www.carddata.com)

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