Consumer delinquency rates are dropping at U.S. retailers and banks such as American Express Co. and Bank of America Corp., signaling an incipient lending thaw that may spur economic growth.
Past-due loans at Bank of America, the second-largest card lender, fell for a fifth month in April and by the most in four years, while AmEx’s delinquencies were down 34 percent from a year earlier. Target Corp., the second-largest U.S. discount retailer, last week reported its lowest delinquency rate in the latest quarter since the second quarter of 2008.
Let's look at some data:
Starting in 2008, households started to decrease their debt holdings. Considering the overall level (there was nearly as much household debt as GDP) this was a healthy development.
As a result, debt service payments decreased, as did
The household financial obligations as a percent of disposable income.