Carpe Diem highlights how credit card delinquencies are falling nicely, down four months in a row.
“With fewer consumers late on their bills, the outlook for credit losses over the summer may be improving,” says Reuters.
Moreover, credit card debt fell to a 45-month low, as shown by Carpe Diem’s graphic the right.
Overall, as we’ve highlighted before, U.S. households reduced their total debt (inclusive of everything, mortgages, credit cards, etc) by $239 billion in 2009. Yes much of this is due to people defaulting on their obligations, but much needed financial adjustments are being made in the U.S., even if painfully.
Moreover, given the latest credit card data shown above, we’re confident that the overall deleveraging trend of 2009 is continuing in 2010 even though the larger, total household debt number isn’t out yet from the Federal Reserve.
Despite an economic recovery post-crisis, hard times are still driving Americans to reduce their financial leverage. The new American consumer will likely be more conservative than we’ve been used to over the last decade, even as the economy gets better. Which is a good thing in the long-term given how extreme things got.
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