A recent survey of direct mail volumes and response rates for credit card marketers shows both to have declined. That both these measures would fall in the same period is unusual, analysts said, and may signal that the industry is headed for a slump.

The data, which were provided by the research firm BAIGlobal Inc., were more compelling on the volume side of the equation than on the response side. Volumes were shown to have declined steadily, with fewer credit card solicitations mailed out in the third quarter than in any other quarter in more than two years.

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