U.S. credit card delinquencies fell for the fourth straight month in April, the latest indicator that Americans are recovering from the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.
In regulatory filings on Monday, Capital One Financial Corp , Discover Financial Services and Bank of America Corp reported lower credit card delinquency rates, a sign that fewer borrowers will default on their card debts in the coming months.
Default rates, while still high, declined for Capital One and Discover to their lowest levels this year. Bank of America, the largest U.S. card issuer, reported an increase in defaults.
The card data is released monthly by the major U.S. credit card issuers and is a key barometer for American consumers' financial health.
While charge-offs -- debts the companies do not expect to be repaid -- remained high, delinquencies are a better gauge of future loan performance. With fewer consumers late on their bills, the outlook for credit losses over the summer may be improving.
JPMorgan Chase & Co , Citigroup Inc and American Express Co are expected to report the April performance of their credit card portfolios later on Monday.
Discover Financial said its annualized net charge-off rate fell to 8.42 percent in April from 8.51 percent in March. The company's 30-day delinquencies declined to 5.20 percent from 5.39 percent.
Bank of America's annualized net charge-off rate increased to 12.71 percent from 12.54 percent. Its 30-day delinquencies, however, dropped to 6.73 percent from 7.07 percent.
Capital One's annualized net charge-off rate for U.S. credit cards fell to 9.68 percent from 10.87 percent. Accounts at least 30 days delinquent declined to 5.07 percent from 5.30 percent.
Capital One shares were up 1 percent to $43.20 on the New York Stock Exchange in morning trading, while Bank of America shares were down 8 cents to $16.26. Discover Financial shares were unchanged at $14.24.
(Reporting by Joe Rauch in Charlotte, N.C. and Brenton Cordeiro in Bangalore; Editing by Aradhana Aravindan, Derek Caney and John Wallace)