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The new S&P/Experian Consumer Credit Default Indices is out showing higher consumer default rates across all loan sectors this past December, with the overall rate increasing by 6%. When they looked at credit card default rates they went up to 3.34%, while auto rates hit 1.035% and first mortgage default rates rose to 0.67%.
That's not all, five of the major metropolitan statistical areas (MSA's) came in with higher month over month loan default rates in December as well. This is the first time since January 2017 that all three loan sectors have come in with increased default rates, and the major MSA's have experienced an upswing in defaults as well.
The scoop on MSA default rates
What did the default rate look like for the major metropolitan areas (MSA's)? Miami's rate was up 41 basis points hitting 1.93%, while New York had a 13 basis point upswing, coming in at 0.96%. Chicago's default rate went up four basis points and is now at 0.88%.
On the other hand, Dallas is up three basis points reaching 0.85% and the City of Angeles (LA) was up two points hitting 52%."Consumer credit default rates are giving a caution signal," says David M. Blitzer, Managing Director and Chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices.
"It has been almost two years since default rates across the three sectors and all five cities tracked in this report rose together. The chart shows that defaults on bank cards have resumed their uneven upward trend," he added.
Credit card rejections and cancellations up too
Blitzer points to a recent report from the New York Federal Reserve Bank indicating that more credit card applications were rejected last year than in 2017. That is also the case for accounts being canceled by banks and issuers.
"These trends, combined with gradual increases in market interest rates during 2018, point to increasing pressure on the availability of consumer credit as the economy shifts from the fast path of growth last year to what analysts expect to be a slower, more sustainable pace in 2019," noted Blitzer.