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Credit card delinquencies and chargeoffs continue to decline

These charts show the latest data from the Fed through the end of the first quarter. Both show positive trends in consumer finances, with credit card delinquency rates and chargeoff rates falling significantly from their recession highs. Delinquency rates are now well below their 20-year average (3.8% vs. 4.6%). Chargeoff rates are still well above average, but they normally lag delinquency rates, so we should expect to see continued and significant improvement there. The message: consumers are deleveraging, getting back to work (albeit slowly), earning more, and recovering their financial health; the economy is continuing to recover, and though it may seem agonizingly slow, it is nevertheless progress.

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