Credit-card delinquencies hit a six-month low in March while charge-offs declined for the second-straight month, according to Fitch Ratings, showing further signs that credit woes may have peaked.
But the ratings agency reiterated that consumer credit quality remains under pressure, though the pace of deterioration is moderating.
Charge-offs, or loans not expected to be recovered, among prime-rated customers fell 0.34 percentage point to 10.93% for the March reporting period, a 17% increase from a year earlier. A 2.34-point decline in Bank of America Corp.'s charge-offs led the drop.
"Emerging signs that the consumer recovery may be in effect could translate to lower charge-off rates later in the year, although we need to realize sustained improvement in the labor markets," said Fitch managing director Michael Dean.
Meanwhile, the rate of accounts at least 60 days behind dropped 0.17 point to 4.27%, while the 30-day delinquency rate fell 0.11 point to 5.74%.
Also, the amount of monthly balances paid by customers increased 0.56 point to 19.35%, up 9% from a year ago.