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Fed report: Credit card spending slows

Summary

U.S. consumers slowed their credit card spending in February, according to the latest Federal Reserve release on consumer credit.

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U.S. consumers slowed their credit card spending in February 2008, according to the latest Federal Reserve release on consumer credit.

Consumers’ use of revolving credit (of which about 98 percent is comprised of credit card debt) climbed at an annual rate of nearly 6 percent during February. That represented a slowdown from January’s 7 percent spike in revolving credit. The latest increase boosted the total amount of revolving credit to $951.7 billion, up from $947 billion one month earlier.

Overall consumer credit (revolving and nonrevolving) advanced 2.4 percent in February to $2.5 trillion.

Revolving credit increased at an annual rate of 6 percent in February, 2008
Report says credit card spending slows
Source: Federal Reserve

The Fed’s data is supported by other recent releases. Credit bureau TransUnion published a quarterly credit card analysis showing that credit card debt and delinquency both rose in the final three months of 2007.

TransUnion said that in the fourth quarter, the national average debt per credit card rose 4.81 percent to $1,694 from the third quarter. Credit card loan delinquency, defined as “the percentage of bank card users 90 or more days past due,” jumped 32 percent to 1.36 percent.

The Fed’s monthly G-19 report on consumer credit is often volatile and subject to significant revision.

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