The average chargeoff rate on consumer credit cards fell to a 16-month low in July; delinquency rates also improved as did credit card portfolio health, Fitch Ratings has reported.

The average July default rate on outstanding credit card receivables fell 92 basis points from June, to 9.65%. Issuers that include Bank of America Corp., Capital One Financial Corp., Citigroup Inc. and Discover Financial Services all had lower default rates on consumer credit card accounts, Fitch said on Wednesday.

Delinquencies on accounts at least 60 days past due fell in July to 3.76%, down 10 basis points from June's rate and the lowest Fitch has seen in 19 months. Delinquencies on accounts at least 30 days past due fell to 5%, down 13 basis points.

"The trends are encouraging, but card defaults are still elevated historically and will remain so," Michael Dean, a Fitch managing director, said in a press release. "Unemployment will continue to weigh on consumer credit quality throughout the rest of this year and well into 2011."

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