Consumer credit default data through January shows a slight upward move in default rates from lows experienced last year, according to Tuesdays report by S&P Dow Jones Indices and Experian.
The S&P/Experian Consumer Credit Default Indices, a measure of changes in defaults, increased for a sixth consecutive month, posting a default rate of 1.12% in January, up one basis point from December and up 11 basis points since a July 2014 low.
The first mortgage default rate remained flat at 1.02% in January but is 14 basis points above the July 2014 low. The second mortgage default increased by five basis points to 0.64%. The auto loan default rate rebounded from last month, up one basis point to 1.03%. Only the bank card default rate fell, down four basis points to 2.61%.
"Numerous indicators point to more confident consumers who are more willing to spend and spend with credit. Consumer credit data from the Federal Reserve confirm growth in credit outstanding through the end of 2014. The results of the New York Feds Survey of Consumer Expectations shows consumers anticipate increased incomes and rising spending plans. The recent improvements in the economy have boosted consumer spending and confidence without any significant increase in consumer credit defaults. This favorable pattern of stronger spending and stable default rates could be threatened by higher interest rates or a rebound in oil and gas prices. However, for the moment the economy is justifying consumers upbeat outlook, according to the report.
Five major U.S. cities show some variation in regional patterns.
"New York, Dallas and Miami reported default rate increases in January. New York reported the largest increase for the second consecutive month, up five basis points, to 1.10%. Dallas also reported an increase for the fourth consecutive month, up two basis points to 1.10%. Miami reported a modest gain of one basis point to 1.35%. Los Angeles reported the largest rate decrease, down two basis points to 0.84%. Despite the increases, all five cities Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Miami and New York still remain below rates seen a year ago.