Consumer Payment Card News

Debt Rebound

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America’s appetite for credit card debt returned during July after a one month decline. Consumers added a mere $300 million to total revolving debt during July, compared to a $1.9 billion increase one year ago. The July figures, released this week by the Federal Reserve, also reverses the one month decline posted in June during which consumers reduced total revolving debt by a revised $1.3 billion, the first such decline in 2003. According to preliminary figures released by the Federal Reserve, American consumers were $1.774 trillion in debt, exclusive of home mortgages during July. Bank credit card debt (excluding store and gas credit cards) at the end of the first quarter was $645.6 billion, or roughly 90% of total revolving credit, according to CardData (www.carddata.com).

                     REVOLVING CREDIT HISTORICAL ($billions)
                 Jul 03    Jun03     May 03  Apr 03  Mar 03  Feb 03  Jan 03
  GRWTH:   0.5%    -2.1          7.7        3.4        4.1        5.9  5.2
  $OWED:  $726.9   726.6     727.9     722.8    720.7     718.6    715.5

                   Dec 02  Nov 02   Oct 02  Sep 02  Aug 02  Jul 02  Jun 02
  GRWTH:    -6.7%    -1.4        1.6        3.0        6.2       6.0 4.1
  $OWED:  $712.4     716.8     717.9    721.3    719.5    715.6   712.1

              Source: Federal Reserve; revised figures as of 09/08/03;
             For complete historical data visit CardData (www.carddata.com).

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