Consumer credit card debt shrinks in capital

Published: Wednesday, Sep. 26, 2012 - 12:00 am | Page 6B
Last Modified: Wednesday, Sep. 26, 2012 - 7:47 am

The Sacramento area was one of a handful of U.S. metro markets where consumer credit card debt declined more than 1 percent year-over-year in August.

Equifax, the Atlanta-based credit-rating firm, said credit card debt has been shrinking in metro areas that are, comparatively speaking, recovering more slowly from the recession.

Equifax said debt throughout the Sacramento area last month totaled $4.29 billion, down 1.36 percent from August 2011. Other areas seeing declines of more than 1 percent included Los Angeles, Detroit and Las Vegas.

Among the nation's 25 largest metro areas, credit card debt was mostly flat, increasing only 0.02 percent.

"In places where the housing bust was the worst, such as Florida, California and Nevada … consumers are continuing to be prudent about using credit," said Trey Loughran, president of the Personal Solutions unit at Equifax.

Equifax said nationwide consumer credit card debt totaled $585.3 billion in August, down 22 percent from a pre-recession peak reached in October 2008.

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