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Credit card debt drops in February

The latest figures on consumer credit from the Federal Reserve show that consumers are hunkering down, especially on credit card debt. Revolving credit outstanding – mainly credit card debt – fell at an annual rate of 9-3/4 percent in February 2009 from the month before. Revolving credit outstanding fell from $963.5 billion in January to $955.7 billion in February. Pools of securitized assets based on credit card debt fell from $448.1 billion to $440.3 billion. These balances are no longer carried on the books of the credit card issuers.

Delinquency figures on credit cards for the last quarter 2008 rose but in a range near the four-year average, according to the American Bankers Association. Their latest survey showed that credit card delinquencies increased from 4.20 percent to 4.52 percent -- the four-year average is 4.47 percent.