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Australians Go Off the Boil with Credit Card Usage

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Overall Australian credit card spending declined 3.0% in February, compared to one-year ago. According to statistics released last week purchase dollar volume inched up by 1.2% and cash dollar volume dipped by 14.5%, compared to last February. 

There had been growing concerns in 2016 Australian credit card spending was slowing down, and now the proof is in pudding for early 2017.

The slowdown is also evident in Canad where credit card users are in “moderation” mode as card spending is up a modest 3.46% for the first three months of 2017, compared to the same period in 2016.

Meanwhile, U.S. consumer revolving credit for February, mostly credit card debt, topped the $1 trillion record set in December, growing at a solid clip annually. While climbing steadily throughout 2016, consumer credit increased at a 3.5% annual rate of growth in February.

The outlook for U.S. credit card debt is a mixed bag as delinquency and charge-offs are rising for near-prime and sub-prime accounts. However, substantial infrastructure spending by the U.S. could boost consumer confidence and thus credit card usage and debt. But uncertainty reigns with the GOP the big X-factor.

Across the pond, U.K. consumer credit took a sharp turn north in February, despite the Brexit uncertainty, rising to its highest annual growth rate of the past twelve months. U.K. credit card lending settled at £67.3 billion for a 9.3% YOY gain in February, or nearly three times the growth rate in the U.S.

CONSUMER CREDIT CARD Gross Spending (spending + cash)

Feb 2016: AU$25924 million
Mar 2016: AU$26222 million
Apr 2016: AU$24156 million
May 2016: AU$26767 million
Jun 2016: AU$26242 million
Jul 2016: AU$24323 million
Aug 2016: AU$27604 million
Sep 2016: AU$26115 million
Oct 2016: AU$26373 million
Nov 2016: AU$27849 million
Dec 2016: AU$28451 million
Jan 2017: AU$25370 million
Feb 2007: AU$25152 million

CONSUMER CREDIT CARD Purchase Spending

Feb 2016: AU$25061 million
Mar 2016: AU$25367 million
Apr 2016: AU$23370 million
May 2016: AU$25908 million
Jun 2016: AU$25389 million
Jul 2016: AU$23511 million
Aug 2016: AU$26768 million
Sep 2016: AU$25334 million
Oct 2016: AU$25575 million
Nov 2016: AU$27053 million
Dec 2016: AU$27693 million
Jan 2017: AU$24588 million
Feb 2017: AU$25370 million

CONSUMER CREDIT CARD Cash Advances

Feb 2016: AU$863 million
Mar 2016: AU$855 million
Apr 2016: AU$787 million
May 2016: AU$859 million
Jun 2016: AU$853 million
Jul 2016: AU$812 million
Aug 2016: AU$836 million
Sep 2016: AU$781 million
Oct 2016: AU$797 million
Nov 2016: AU$795 million
Dec 2016: AU$758 million
Jan 2017: AU$782 million
Feb 2017: AU$738 million

Source: Reserve Bank of Australia

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