Rates remain stuck at 15.06 percent for fourth 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: Sept. 17, 2014
rates on new credit card offers didn't budge this week, according to the
CreditCards.com Weekly Credit Card Rate Report.
national average annual percentage rate (APR) remained stuck at 15.06 percent
Wednesday for the fourth consecutive week.
the issuers tracked by CreditCards.com revised credit card terms this week.
They left promotional rates, including 0 percent balance transfer offers and
introductory APRs, alone as well.
national average is currently just 0.07 percent higher than it was a year ago,
when average rates hit 14.99 percent. On Sept. 25, 2013, the national average
rose to 15.03 percent and has remained at 15 percent or higher ever since.
relative stability in credit card interest rates underscores just how reluctant
issuers have been to substantially change rates. Average card rates have
remained within rounding distance of 15 percent for nearly four years.
Retail sales rebound in August
New research from the Commerce Department
shows that retail spending jumped 0.6 percent last month, helping ease
economists' fears that consumer spending was beginning to contract.
Commerce Department also helped tamp down concerns by revising its July
estimate upward. The department reported that retail sales rose by 0.3 percent in
July, thanks in part to stronger clothing and specialty store sales.
Previously, the department said retail sales hardly moved in July after inching
up by just 0.2 percent in June.
latest estimates are welcome news to retailers after the Commerce Department
reported in August that total spending fell in July by 0.1 percent.
sales were especially robust last month, rising by 1.5 percent. Consumers also spent
significantly more on building materials and gardening supplies, furniture and
electronics, health and personal care items, music, books, sporting goods and
hobby items and meals out. In addition, they spent slightly more on groceries
month's broad-based increases indicate that consumers are not only feeling
relatively confident about their finances, they also have enough room in their
budgets to splurge on entertainment items, such as music and electronics.
Economists caution, however, that
the pickup in retail sales may only be temporary -- particularly since wages
are still relatively flat. "The rise in consumer confidence, labor markets
and retail sales is encouraging," said the National Retail Foundation's
Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz in a statement. A National Retail Foundation
analysis also found that retail sales jumped last month.
"August sales figures signal
that consumers are willing and ready to spend as the economy improves,"
Kleinhenz added. "However, until the pace of income picks up, we should
not expect a sustained surge in spending."
Credit card usage also strong
said, consumers are borrowing more heavily, which could indicate that consumers
are feeling confident enough in their job status.
over year, credit card spending grew by 5.8 percent last month, according to First Data Corp. research,
thanks in part to stronger retail, hotel and travel sales. Debit card spending,
by contrast, advanced much more slowly. Spending on signature debit grew by
just 1.9 percent in August. Debit card spending using a PIN grew by 3.4
also used plastic more regularly in August. Credit card transaction growth --
which measures the total number of times consumers used their cards --
expanded by 6.1 percent.
See related: Card balances rise for 5th straight month
Published: September 17, 2014