A study of recent economic data indicates that consumer lenders could be operating in a much less happy environment by this time next year.

"The sky may not be falling, but it sure looks like the roof is leaking," said analyst Gary J. Gordon of PaineWebber Inc., who takes a wary stance on shares of the major credit card issuers and finance companies.

Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.