Credit Card Delinquency Rates Continue to Fall
Credit card delinquency and default rates continued their general decline in May, cheering investors and signaling overall economic improvement. Despite banking industry concerns about a new wave of government regulations that could limit profits, easing of 30-day late accounts and charge-offs helped credit credit card issuers retain more revenue compared to the previous month.

Capital One reported that only 4.8% of its cardholders fell more than 30 days behind on minimum payments during May. Chase reported a similar delinquency rate of 4.22%, and Discover's 30-day-late percentage fell below 5% for the first time in months. Likewise, most credit card issuers have been forced to charge off fewer accounts, sending fewer cardholders into collections activity. Capital One, American Express, and Chase reported declines in defaulted credit card accounts, while Discover reported a slight increase.

The Wall Street Journal reported positive investor reaction to the figures, with major credit card issuers' stock prices rising between 2-5% after the announcements. Economists use the 30-day delinquent and charge-off data to estimate short-term and medium-term consumer spending.

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Joe Taylor Jr. is an internal business consultant for a Fortune 500 company, who writes about finance, culture, and design. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Communications from Ithaca College.