We have seen increases in some areas of consumer debt, as information was made available through reports released here in October, that point out some consumers are having trouble when it comes to honoring certain types of loans, but there are also some reports that stated consumers saw a huge leap in the amount of credit card debt during the second quarter of this year, which has some officials questioning whether consumers are even more confident in terms of credit card use, or in light of delinquencies being seen in some areas, if they are relying on certain types of credit for purchases. Furthermore, there were reports by the Treasury Department that indicated, for August 2011, consumer credit decreased, in both the areas of revolving and non-revolving credit, which casts further inquires as to where consumers stand in terms of their financial lives.
Some retailers are expecting their sales to be similar or less than last year, as many are planning to hire fewer workers because they feel there will be fewer shoppers this season, but as we have seen reports from earlier this year where credit card debt increased, there are officials who feel these mixed numbers may indicate that certain consumers are in a position where they are attempting to pay down debts, are uncertain and are simply not confident about spending, but there is also some worry that due to high levels of unemployment that are still in place, there are consumers who are relying on credit to simply get by.
Many officials are waiting to see what the holiday season will bring as there are questions over whether consumers are simply being cautious or if they are not in a position to handle spending, debt, or other financial obligations at the present time, as we have once again seen reports over the past few weeks showing that certain types of debt has become a problem. Yet, some banks are reporting that credit card debt has not been as much of an issue as some of these loans, which again may point to consumers either focusing on paying down credit card debt or not in a position to spend at the present time.
While reviewing all of the data that is currently available may give some mixed impressions depending on the area of credit, the types of consumers who are using credit, and what the financial situation may be of consumers in general, it’s hoped that there will be improvements in the area of consumer spending, particularly over the holidays, and that consumers will be able to honor any debts that arise in the coming months, which could point to not only confidence but the ability to pay obligations as well. However, many officials will simply have to wait and see what consumer spending brings in the coming weeks, as increases in delinquencies are a problem, but some predictions that consumers are simply being cautious still leaves questions of whether consumer spending is simply not an option for some at the present time or if more men and women are simply being frugal with their finances.