Consumer Payment Card News

Debt Sputter

During the first sixty days of this year, Americans added $2 billion to revolving debt, compared to $18 billion during the same period in 2001. The downtrend began in July 2001, after consumer revolving credit topped the $700 billion milestone. The sharpest decline took place in the month after the terrorists attacks when revolving debt sank by $6.3 billion. According to figures released Friday by the Federal Reserve, revolving credit, most credit card debt, is now growing at an annual rate of 1.2% compared to 20.8% one year ago. The new aversion to credit card debt confirms the popular New Year resolution to pay down debt. The Federal Reserve figures for February show revolving credit now stands at $694.4 billion. At the end of February 2002, American consumers were $1.669 trillion in debt, exclusive of home mortgages.

                            REVOLVING CREDIT HISTORICAL
                                  ($billions)
        Feb 02     Jan 02     Dec 01    Nov 01     Oct01     Sep01    Aug01
GRWTH:   1.2%       2.4       - 9.7     12.7      -7.1       0.6     -2.2
$OWED:  $694.4     693.8      692.4     698.0     686.4     692.7    693.5

        Jul 01     Jun 01     May 01     Apr01     Mar01     Feb01    Jan01
GRWTH:   -3.7%       2.1        4.5       14.2      11.9      20.8     11.6
$OWED:  $698.1      700.3      699.0     697.6     688.2     681.4    670.3

Source: Federal Reserve; revised figures as of 04/05/02; For complete historical data visit CardData (http://www.carddata.com).

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