According to Moody's Investors Service's most recent figures, credit card charge-offs experienced their first double-digit percentage increase on an absolute, year-over-year basis, since 1997.
The figure jumped in April to 6.29%, a 13.7% increase over last April's 5.53%, and an 8.6% increase over March's 5.79%.
Delinquencies for April came in at 5.06%, a 13.6% increase over last April's 4.46%, though down from March's 5.11%, due to a spike in bankruptcies, partly attributable to a combination of deteriorating consumer credit and a rush to beat the less-debtor friendly bankruptcy legislation.
Excess spread came in at 5.92% for April, a healthy level, analysts at Moody's said. Yield was 19.41%, an slight increase on a year-to-year basis, but slightly down from March, likely reflecting falling interest (and bank prime) rates.
According to a bank researcher, while the trend for consumer credit is undoubtedly negative, the levels reported above are still below the ten-year averages.
"You have to remember that a few months ago, they were at historical lows," the analyst said. "We're the first to admit that the trend is negative. But are Citibank deals going to start amortizing? Hell, no."