Before we start getting excited about a drop in the inflation rate, which the Bureau of Labor Statistics just clocked at 8.5% in July, down from 9.2%, keep in mind that much of the benefit comes from a decrease in gasoline prices. NPR suggests it is a supply and demand issue, and that fuel consumption is down 9%. The improvement is slight, but food prices are up 10.92% YOY for July 2022, and the price of shelter (rental and purchases) is up 5.7 percent. Keep an eye on credit card delinquency.
Credit Card Delinquency is Remains Strong but is Deteriorating
The latest number for delinquency rates on credit cards for all commercial banks rose to 1.73% in Q1 2022, up from 1.63% in Q4-2021, and 1.54 in Q3-2021, and the historic low, which was 1.48% in Q2 2021. The good news is that credit card delinquency is low, but the unwelcome news is that it is on an incline.
The first crucial factor is that the top one hundred banks are doing much better than the other three thousand smaller financial institutions. In Q1 2022, top bank delinquency was only 1.53%. However, those not in the top one hundred list showed a 5.04% delinquency rate, more than three times higher than top banks.
Now Look at Auto Delinquencies
Credit Bureau TransUnion put a flag on the field when they reported Gen Z auto loans now show a past due rate of 2.21%, up from a pre-Pandemic rate of 1.75%. Their millennial breather shows a similar increase, from 1.66% to 2.21%.
The numbers get ugly when you look at Experian’s delinquency rates by state. The percentage of consumers ever showing 30+ delinquency in Utah, where the average loan payment is $513, is 4.5% for 30-day delinquency. In the nation’s capital, the 30-day delinquency indicator is a whopping 23.4%.
Cox Automotive, an industry trade journal noted:
- Loans that were delinquent by 60-days or more increased 6.1% and were up 30.7% from a year ago. In June, 1.48% of auto loans were severely delinquent, rising from1.40% in May. A year ago, the severe delinquency rate was thirty-six basis points higher.
And Rental Payments are slipping
The National Multifamily Housing Council notes that a White House Summit Focuses on Eviction Mitigation, which is a forerunner to an upcoming recession. This is not a bad idea when considering how protections under the CARES Act expire and the potential risks associated with uncoordinated budgets.
Small businesses feel the pain also, as Franchising.Com, another trade journal, points out:
- Drill down into the July numbers for restaurants, and rent is up 7% from June. Forty-five percent of restaurant owners said they could not pay their full July rent last month. Retailers saw an even steeper jump, up 9% from June, where 44% of them did not have enough cash on hand to cover their rent. Both these rates of delinquency represent all-time highs for 2022.
Everyone Hopes for the Best for Credit Card Delinquencies, But…
Keep an eye on the budget. Delinquency is starting to brew. And do not think inflation is over yet.
Overview by Brian Riley, Director, Credit Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Group