Equifax: Growth and stability seen in credit card sector
Positive signs seen with credit cards
Marked improvement and stability is occurring the credit card sector in recent months, according to data from leading credit agency Equifax.
In a recent report, Equifax highlighted some of the growth that has been observed recently in the credit card sector.
For example, data through June 2012 shows that credit card limits for new credit cards increased to $87.3 billion in 2012, which represents an increase of more than 36 percent from the recession low of $55.5 billion from 2010. This data refers to bank credit cards on a national level.
In addition, credit limits for new retail credit cards limits increased more than 15 percent from 2010 ($25.8 billion) through June 2012 ($30.4 billion).
More accounts, more available credit
According to Equifax’s National Consumer Credit Trends Report, the total number of bank credit card accounts reached a 28-month high in June 2012, exceeding 300 million accounts.
The total amount of available credit topped $1.87 trillion in August, and the utilization rate increased to 22.4 percent. In May 2012, the utilization rate of bank credit card balances dropped to a 5-year low at 22.1 percent.
Additionally, credit limits for retail credit cards increased 15 percent from May 2012 to August 2012 – to more than $340 billion from $290 billion). The August 2012 level is the highest seen in 27 months.
Current credit card balances (retail cards) hit a 33-month high in August 2012 – $51 billion.