Average card rates fall to 15.05 percent
|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: Sept. 24, 2014|
Average rates on new credit card offers dipped this week for the first time in more than five months, according to the CreditCards.com Weekly Credit Card Rate Report.
The national average annual percentage rate (APR) fell to 15.05 percent Wednesday after remaining stuck at 15.06 percent for four weeks.
Unlike previous rate changes, however, this week's change was due to a reshuffling of the CreditCards.com database rather than a change in terms.
Citi is no longer offering the Citi Dividend Card for College Students online or over the phone. The card was replaced in the database with a similar cash-back card: the Discover "it" Chrome for Students card. The new Chrome card was introduced to the market earlier this year and advertises a slightly lower minimum APR of 12.99 percent. The card also features a 0 percent promotional APR for six months.
Economic growth slips in August
The U.S. economy faced moderate headwinds last month and its growth slowed, according to research from the Federal Reserve.
The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago reported Monday that its National Activity Index, which measures overall economic activity, fell in August after accelerating the previous month.
According to the report, last month's economic slump was largely driven by a slowdown in manufacturing. Employment-related indicators, such as the number of jobs that were created in August, were also somewhat weaker. According to the Labor Department, the economy added just 142,000 jobs last month -- well below the previous month's reading of 212,000 jobs
The Federal Reserve also reported that its personal consumption and housing indicator improved somewhat in August after consumer spending fell in July. But personal consumption is still well below historical standards -- indicating that many Americans have yet to regain their appetite for heavy spending.
Faster growth expected
Despite last month's mild slowdown, some experts predict that economic activity will accelerate in the months ahead. However, they expect the pickup in growth to be more modest than it was in the second quarter of 2014, when the economy expanded at a faster clip.
"The leading indicators point to an economy that is continuing to gain traction, but most likely won't repeat its stellar second quarter performance in the second half," said economist Ken Goldstein in a news release about The Conference Board's own economic index.
The Conference Board reported Friday that the group's Leading Economic Index -- which also measures economic activity -- rose slightly in August. But the increase in activity was slower than the previous month, in part because of sluggish housing and manufacturing orders.
See related: Fed holds course toward rate hike in 2015