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S&P/Experian Indices Show Decline in Consumer Defaults

January 24, 2011

NEW YORK — Default rates across four major categories of consumer credit declined, according to the Standard & Poor’s/Experian Consumer Credit Default Indices, a comprehensive measure of changes in consumer credit defaults.

The data compiled through December 2010 showed a decline in monthly default rates for first and second mortgages to 2.93 percent and 1.74 percent, respectively. Auto loans experienced the biggest decline this month to 1.68 percent from 1.76 percent in November. The bank card index declined slightly to 6.73 percent default rate.

"Default rates across the four major categories of consumer borrowing declined in December from November and from a year earlier.  Nationally, consumers continue to gradually improve their financial condition," commented David M. Blitzer, managing director and chairman of the index committee for S&P. "Separately, data from the Federal Reserve shows that bank card credit declined through November. Debt-service ratios, the proportion of disposable income that goes to paying debt, continues to decline. On a regional basis, the five cities we cover suggest that the Sunbelt continues to see greater than typical default rates."

Consumer credit defaults varied across major cities and regions of the United States. Among the five major metropolitan statistical areas reported each month in this release Los Angeles and Chicago experienced a decrease in defaults this month to 3.07 percent and 3.13 percent, respectively. Dallas was the only one that had increased in default rates to 2.21 percent. Miami and New York declined slightly to 10.15 percent and 3.01 percent, respectively.

The table gives summary results for December 2010 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


Index Level

Change from
November 2010

Change from
December 2009





First Mortgage




Second Mortgage




Bank Card




Auto Loans





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

Statistical Area

Index Level

Change from
November 2010

Change from
December 2009

New York
















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