Rates remain at 15.03 percent for second week
|CreditCards.com's Weekly Rate Report
||6 months ago
|Methodology: The national average credit card APR is comprised of 100 of the most popular credit cards in the country, including cards from dozens of leading U.S. issuers and representing every card category listed above. Introductory, or teaser, rates are not included in the calculation.
|Updated: July 23, 2014
Interest rates on new card
offers didn't budge this week, according to the CreditCards.com Weekly Credit
Card Rate Report.
The national average annual
percentage rate (APR) remained at 15.03 percent.
This is the second week in a
row that issuers left credit card interest rates unchanged. Promotional APRs
and introductory balance transfer offers were also left untouched.
Credit card issuers rarely modify
interest rates these days. The national average APR, for example, has changed
just seven times since Jan. 1 in our weekly survey of offers for the 100 most-popular cards.
Over the past seven months,
average APRs have declined somewhat, as the national average began the year at
15.06 percent. But year-over-year, average interest rates are higher than they
were the previous summer. On July 23, 2013, for example, the national average
APR was 14.96.
Average APRs rose to 15.02
percent in late September. They haven't fallen below 15 percent since.
Higher spending is expected in the months ahead
Despite this month's dip in consumer confidence, experts
still predict that consumer spending will continue to improve as the economy
gathers strength in the months ahead.
According to The Conference
Board's Leading Economic Index -- which measures the overall health of the U.S.
economy -- the U.S. economy improved significantly last month, pushing the
index up by 0.3 percent. That, in turn, has raised analysts' hopes that
economic growth will continue to speed up in the final months of 2014.
"The pace of economic
activity continued to expand moderately through June," said The Conference
Board's Ken Goldstein in a press release.
"Stronger consumer demand driven by sustained job gains and improving
confidence remains the main source of improvement."
Meanwhile, retailers are busy
preparing for back-to-school season and are expecting relatively strong sales
this year, according to the National Retail Federation.
According to the group's 2014
Back-to-School survey, families with school-age children expect to spend $34
more on new clothes, electronics and school supplies this summer than they
did in 2013 (from $635 in 2013 to $669 in 2014).
While individual families expend to spend more, overall school-related retail sales are likely to dip this year due to a small drop in the
number of kids who are school-aged, said the National Retail Federation. Retailers
also predict that many parents will be on a strict budget, which could also
"Slow improvements in
the economy may have contributed to the growth in confidence among back-to-school
shoppers," said the National Retail Federation's Matthew Shay in a press release.
However, parents are unlikely
to bust their budgets buying school supplies, he said. "While we are
encouraged by the overall tone of the results and expect to see continued
improvement in consumer spending through the year, we know Americans are still
grappling with their purchase decisions every day. Throughout the history of
this survey, spending has fluctuated based on family needs each year, and this
summer, we expect parents to continue to use caution."
See related: Collectors see less credit card debt,
Published: July 23, 2014