Credit card debt is increasing nationwide, but don’t worry. That’s a good thing.
Q: Who says?
A: Equifax, the economic data analysis firm.
“Consumer confidence in the economy is on the rise and it suggests consumers are at a point where they feel empowered to spend, and, more importantly, to pay back debt,” the company said in a recent release.
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Q: How much debt?
A: Total credit card debt rose to $634 billion at the end of the second quarter, a 5 percent jump compared with $604 billion a year before. The rate of growth in credit card debt more than doubled over the period in many metropolitan areas. Debt has increased by at least 3 percent in each of the country’s top 25 metropolitan areas, where only eight areas showed increases a year ago.
“American consumers continue to show signs they are recovering from the Great Recession by steadily increasing their credit card debt,” according to data from the company’s most recent National Consumer Trends report.
The Tacoma-Seattle area, the 14th largest metropolitan area in the country, showed $10.39 billion in credit card debt, an increase of 3.8 percent over the year. Only the Detroit and Minneapolis areas grew at a lesser rate. Miami, Houston and Las Vegas each saw increases above 9 percent.
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