Consumer Payment Card News

Debt Pulse

The pace of growth in credit card debt picked up in September as Americans added $3 billion in revolving credit compared to $1 billion one-year ago. Since the start of this year, consumers have added more than $19 billion in revolving credit, ending September at $731.5 billion. According to figures released Friday by the Federal Reserve, the annual growth rate for revolving credit is now 5.0%, the highest pace since May. One-year ago the growth rate was 3.0%. Bank credit card debt (excluding store and gas credit cards) at the end of the second quarter was $646.2 billion, or roughly 90% of total revolving credit, according to CardData (www.carddata.com). (Third quarter industry figures will be available in the next week or two.) At the end of September, Americans were $1972.2 billion in debt, excluding home mortgages.

                      REVOLVING CREDIT HISTORICAL ($billions)
          Sept03  Aug03   Jul 03    Jun03     May03   Apr03   Mar03
GRWTH:     5.0%    2.9     1.4      -2.4       7.7     3.4     4.1
$OWED:   $731.5   728.5   726.8     725.9     727.9   722.8   720.7

         Feb03    Jan03   Dec02    Nov02      Oct02    Sep02   Aug02
GRWTH:    5.9%    5.2     -6.7      -1.4       1.6      3.0     6.2
$OWED:  $718.6    715.5   712.4     716.8     717.9    721.3   719.5

Source: Federal Reserve; revised figures as of 11/07/03;
For complete historical data visit CardData (www.carddata.com).

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