Even though issuance of credit card asset-backed securities so far this year is running ahead of the first two months of 2012, outstanding volumes of deals keeps retreating, according to Standard & Poor’s.

This, in the agency’s view, is a credit positive.

A $300 million transaction from camping and hunting retailer Cabela’s — which has yet to price — will bring YTD issuance to $5.5 billion vs. $5 billion for January-February of last year. Issuers that have come out this year include Royal Bank of Canada, JP Morgan, Discover Financial, and Capital One.

In a separate report, Fitch Ratings said credit card outstandings will level off this year. it projects maturities will fall in 2013 to $50 billion from $70 billion last year. It expects new issuance to range from $40 billion to $50 billion.

If reached, this would represent the highest level since 2009, when credit card ABS issuance topped $52 billion.

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