Rates remain at 15.03 percent for 4th week
|CreditCards.com's Weekly Rate Report|
|Avg. APR||Last week||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 30, 2014|
Interest rates on new credit card offers remained untouched this week, according to the CreditCards.com Weekly Credit Card Rate Report.
None of the issuers tracked by CreditCards.com amended credit card terms. As a result, the national average annual percentage rate (APR) held steady at 15.03 percent Wednesday for the fourth consecutive week.
Issuers left promotional rates -- including interest-free balance transfers -- alone this week as well.
Issuers rarely modify interest rates these days. When they do, they usually change just a handful of cards. As a result, average card rates have hardly budged since Jan. 1.
For example, the national average began the year at 15.06 percent and then dropped to 15 percent at the end of January. Since then, rates have inched up somewhat -- but not by much. The national average APR for the year is currently 15.02 percent.
GDP makes a comeback
The U.S. economy isn't slowing down after all. According to research released Wednesday by the Commerce Department, the economy bounced back decisively last quarter, expanding by 4 percent after retracting earlier this year.
The first quarter's economic slump -- which economists widely agree was driven, in part, by an unusually cold winter -- was softer than previously estimated, said the Commerce Department. Gross domestic product fell by a revised 2.1 percent in the first quarter, down from a previously estimated 2.9 percent.
Last quarter's bump in economic output was partially driven by heavier spending. Consumer spending expanded by 2.5 percent last spring after rising by just 1.2 percent earlier this year.
Consumers were especially eager to buy new durable goods, such as washing machines and cars, last quarter. Durable goods purchases surged 14 percent between April and June. Consumers also spent more on nondurable goods, such as food and gas, and spent slightly more on services.
During the same period, those consumer goods became somewhat more expensive. The price index for gross domestic purchases rose by approximately 1.9 percent in the first quarter after picking up by 1.4 percent between January and March.
Employment also rises
Private sector employers are also helping drive the economy's expansion this year by investing more robustly in new workers.
According to new figures, released Wednesday by the payroll processor ADP, private sector employers created approximately 218,000 new jobs this month. In June, ADP estimated that private sector employers added approximately 281,000 new jobs to the economy.
"Although down from June, the July jobs number marks the fourth straight month of employment gains above 200,000," said ADP's Carlos Rodriguez in a press release.
The service sector provided the bulk of this month's job gains. Employers in service providing industries added approximately 202,000 new jobs to the U.S. economy while employers in goods-producing industries added just 16,000 new jobs.Experts say that if employers keep hiring at a relatively strong pace, the U.S. economy should grow substantially over the next two years. "At the current pace of job growth, unemployment will quickly decline," said Moody Analytics' chief economist Mark Zandi in the ADP release. "Layoffs are still receding and hiring and job openings are picking up. If current trends continue, the economy will return to full employment by late 2016."