I hate to end the week on a down note, but… According to the American Bankers Association (ABA), late payments on consumer loans increased to 2.65% during the fourth quarter of 2007 (the most recent quarter for which data are available).
This is an 8.6% increase over the preceding quarter, and is the highest consumer loan delinquency rate since the first quarter of 1992, when the U.S. economy had just emerged from a recession. Credit card delinquencies are also on the rise, with a 4.4% delinquency rate in the fourth quarter of 2007. It remains to be seen how bad things will get before we turn the corner.
As an aside… Given the rising tide of loan defaults, I find it amusing (and more than a bit ironic) that the web address for the ABA’s homepage ends with /default.htm — it sure seems like they could’ve picked a better name for that file. 😉