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Consumer Delinquencies Keep Rising

Ylan Mui

Looks like lots of people are playing the dangerous grace period game -- and losing.

The American Bankers Association released new data today that showed consumer delinquencies on a composite of eight key loan categories have risen to a record 3.2 percent of accounts during the fourth quarter of 2008. The group has been tracking these stats since the 1970s, and it says this is the worst recession that it's seen since then. Aren't we lucky?

This quote from ABA chief economist James Chessen about says it all: “The wheels just fell off the economy.”

FYI, deliquencies are defined as accounts with payments that are more than 30 days overdue. Check out the release to see the breakdown in each loan category.

There are some signs that consumers have rebounded at least a little bit since then, however. Monthly retail sales jumped in January and were down slightly in February, and sales data for March is expected over the next two weeks. Still, Chessen said that the rising unemployment rate is driving the delinquencies -- and that's not expected to change any time soon.

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By Ylan Mui  |  April 2, 2009; 12:15 PM ET
Categories:  Unemployment , Ylan Q. Mui  | Tags: consumers, unemployment  
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