Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Household deleveraging continues

- by New Deal democrat

Trans Union reports:
The national credit card delinquency rate (the rate of borrowers 90 or more days past due) decreased for the sixth consecutive quarter, dropping to 0.6% at the end of the second quarter in 2011. This is the lowest mark observed in 17 years. Credit card debt per borrower increased $20 in the quarter to $4,699, though it remains near record-low levels....
[T]he Q2 2011 TransUnion data released today shows credit card delinquency rates improving by more than at any other time since the recovery began in 2009, both on a quarter-over-quarter basis (-18.9%) and on a year-over-year basis (-34.8%).

"National credit card delinquency rates have fallen to levels not seen since 1994 as consumers continue to tighten their spending," said Ezra Becker, vice president of research and consulting in TransUnion's financial services business unit.

Meanwhile, analyzing the latest revisions to GDP, Dave Altig of the Atlanta Fed notes that: "Consumption growth has been especially weak in this recovery, and the pattern of consumer spending has been more concentrated in consumer durables than has been the case in prior business cycles."

In other words, people are paying off debt religiously and saving for durable goods that will last. Sounds like Americans are taking to heart the advice from a Steve Martin SNL skit:

"Don't Buy Stuff You Cannot Afford."