Americans Cut Back on Credit Card Spending

01 August 2008

NEW YORK: Over one-third of Americans have reduced their spending via credit cards, while just 10% say they are spending more on plastic credit in the wake of the economic downturn, reports Javelin Strategy & Research.

Javelin conducted an online survey among 1,500 cardholders, and also found that 54% plan to reduce their outlay on ‘discretionary' and luxury purchases (a figure higher among the 35–64 age group), with only 5% saying they would spend more.

Some 57% of consumers also say they are now “more careful” about eating in restaurants, where payments are often made on credit cards.

Nine of the thirteen card issuers surveyed by Javelin reported having reined-in their attempts to solicit new customers, although eight have reduced their lines of customer credit.

This is in line with results from issuers such as Citigroup, Bank of America and American Express, all of whose card businesses posted lower Q2 fiscal results, a main cause being fallout from credit issues linked to the failing housing market.

Figures from the Federal Reserve show that “revolving debt” levels among Americans – such as on credit cards – averaged out at $3,150 (€2,017; £1,590) per person, a total of some $961.8 billion.

Data sourced from USA Today/Reuters; additional content by WARC staff