Credit card delinquency rates dipped in the fourth quarter, according to data from Trans-Union LLC.

The Chicago credit bureau reported that 1.21% of cardholders were at least 90 days delinquent on one or more of their credit cards, down 15 basis points, or 11%, from the fourth quarter of 2007.

Delinquency rates were up 11% from the third quarter, which TransUnion attributed to holiday shopping.

"While it certainly does not yet signal a turnaround in the economy, the trend in card delinquency does indicates that both consumers and risk managers are actively working to control card delinquency, and are meeting with some success," Ezra Becker, director of consulting and strategy in TransUnion's financial services group, said in a press release Monday.

Average bank-card borrower debt, on all bank-issued credit cards for individual borrowers, climbed 0.33%, to $5,729, from the third quarter, and 1.96% from the fourth quarter of 2007.

TransUnion said delinquencies could reach 1.8% by yearend. If the Obama administration's economic package gains sufficient traction, the credit card delinquency rate could peak in early 2010 and begin to move downward as the unemployment rate begins to fall and the drop in disposable income levels off, the company said.

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