Reserve numbers confirm that people seem to be paying down more of
their credit card debt, a trend noted by a few large banks in their
first quarter earnings. Credit card, or revolving, debt fell by 0.2
percent in March, a decline of $140 million to $805.8 billion,
according to recent Federal Reserve numbers. That marks the first
decline in credit card debt since last October, though
February’s increase came in at a mere 0.2 percent.
card debt may have declined, but overall consumer credit increased in
March by 1.4 percent, rising $2.52 billion to a total of $2.161
trillion. That rise was fueled by the rise in non-revolving debt, which
includes car, boat, education and vacation loans. Non-revolving debt
rose 2.4 percent, or $2.66 billion, to land at $1.35 trillion,
according to the federal numbers.
The dip in credit
card debt reflects a trend reported in first quarter earnings for Chase
JP Morgan and Citigroup, which said holders were paying off more of
their credit card balances.