With four-and-a-half months remaining in 2001, total credit card issuance this year is on par with total issuance volume seen all of last year, market sources noted. Through August 10, total supply in the credit card sector equals $47.9 billion versus $48.1 billion for all of 2000, according to Barclays Capital consumer ABS analyst Juliet Jones. Thomson Financial numbers show a slightly larger gap.

Leading this deluge of supply are the benchmark issuers in the sector, some of which have already surpassed last year's levels, in addition to numerous issuers returning to the market after not issuing all of last year.

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