While the U.S. credit card market is still plagued by heightened levels of delinquency and above-average amounts of consumer debt, the major card issuers say that the trends are moving in a broadly positive direction, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Keefe, Bruyette, and Woods analyst Sanjay Sakhrani told the Journal that "we are definitely past the peak in charge-offs. From an investor’s standpoint, this data begs the question whether we can see a pick-up in growth or at least a stemming of the decline in credit-card balances."
Annualized charge-off numbers declined across the board in March, the Wall Street Journal reported, with the amount of money written off as bad debts by the major card issuers slowly but steadily decreasing.
While this is hardly conclusive proof of a burgeoning economic recovery, it could still be a positive sign that the financial position of the average U.S. consumer is beginning to improve toward the point where consumer spending might begin to recover. Experts say that this development would be one of the signs that the crisis is well and truly past.