NEW YORK (AP) - A sign that Americans are managing their credit
better as the recession deepens.
One of the big consumer tracking agencies says the number of
people three months behind on bankcard payments fell 11 percent in
the fourth quarter of 2008 from a year ago. People also added less
than 2 percent to their balances during the holiday shopping
More on-time payments came even in the face of worsening job
losses, the continuing foreclosure crisis and tighter credit,
according to TransUnion.
Another sign of consumer responsibility: shoppers didn't spend
as much on gifts they couldn't afford during the holidays as in
But while the numbers are positive for individuals who are
running up less debt and potentially paying fewer late fees on
their credit cards, they also reflect difficult economic issues,
like the sharp decline in retail sales and the tight credit market.