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S&P/Experian Indices Show Major Improvements in January

February 22, 2011

NEW YORK – Monthly default rates across all credit lines declined in January, according to the Standard & Poor’s and Experian's Consumer Credit Default Indices, a comprehensive measure of changes in consumer credit defaults.

Auto loans and bank card indices declined to 1.57 percent and 6.13 percent, respectively. First mortgage defaults fell to 2.84 percent and second mortgages, with a monthly decline of over 13 percent, fell to 1.51 percent.

“We continue to see improvements in consumers’ financial condition. Default rates fell sharply in all major categories and across the five high-lighted cities. Reflecting the better shape of the consumer, the Federal Reserve reported the first increase in bank card credit outstanding in December 2010 since 2008, while other reports show gains in consumer spending,” said David M. Blitzer, managing director and chairman of the S&P Index Committee. “Two keys to the economic recovery are rebuilding balance sheets and increased spending. The reduced default rates seen here demonstrate that house hold balance sheets are being put back into shape and should support gains in spending.”

Consumer credit defaults varied across major cities and regions of the U.S. Among the five major Metropolitan Statistical Areas reported each month in this release, Los Angeles and New York experienced a decrease in defaults this month to 2.75 percent and 2.64 percent, respectively. Chicago followed the trend with a default rate of 2.74 percent. Dallas had the smallest decrease in default rates to 2.06 percent. Miami had the biggest decline of 36 percent to a 6.46 percent default rate.

The table gives summary results for January 2011 for the S&P/Experian Credit Default Indices. These data are not seasonally adjusted and are not subject to revision.

 S&P/Experian Consumer Credit Default Indices

National Indices


January Index Level

Change from December, 2010

Change from January






First Mortgage




Second Mortgage




Bank Card




Auto Loans




Source: S&P/Experian Consumer Credit Default Indices

Data Through: January 2011

The second table provides the S&P/Experian Consumer Default Composite Indices for five selected metropolitan statistical areas:

Metropolitan Statistical Area

January Index Level

Change from December, 2010

Change from January


New York












Los Angeles








Source: S&P/Experian Consumer Credit Default Indices

Data Through: January 2011

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