Consumer Payment Card News

Debt Decline

Consumer revolving credit, mostly credit card debt, resumed its downward trend in February, after rebounding slightly in January. Americans clipped a record $8 billion off total consumer revolving credit in February. Lower credit limits and reduced personal income appear to be contributing factors to the sluggish growth. Revolving credit now stands at $955.7 billion in February and declining at a 9.7% annual rate. In December, revolving credit dipped by a revised $6.5 billion reflecting an annual contraction ratio of 8.2%, according to data released by the Federal Reserve. Bank credit card debt (excluding store and gas credit cards) at the end of the fourth quarter was about $817 billion or roughly 85% of total revolving credit, according to CardData (“www.carddata.com”:http://www.carddata.com). Store and gas credit cards had about $100 billion in outstandings at year-end 2008. At the end of February, Americans were $2564 billion in debt, excluding home mortgages.

         REVOLVING CREDIT HISTORICAL ($billions)
        Feb 09    Jan 09   Dec 08   Nov 08   Oct 08   Sep 08
GRWTH:   -9.7%     2.4     -8.2     -7.1      -0.1     -0.6
$OWED:  $955.7    963.5    961.6    968.1     976.8    976.8
     Source: Federal Reserve; revised figures as of 4/7/09;
 For complete historical data, visit CardData (www.carddata.com)

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