What are the forces moving the Minnesota economy? Adam Belz tries to identify the trends and show the connections between Minnesota and the larger U.S. and global economies. You can connect with him on Twitter: @adambelz
Total consumer credit card debt shrank in metro areas recovering more slowly from the economic crisis, but remained flat across the country, Equifax reported today.
In Minneapolis and St. Paul, credit card debt rose .18 percent -- that's a little less than two-tenths of a percentage point -- from August 2011 to August 2012. Total credit card debt in the metro area was $7.2 billion in August.
For metro areas like Detroit, Las Vegas, Sacramento, Calif., which posted a larger than 1 percent decline in overall credit card debt in August, the numbers show evidence of continued deleveraging.
"In places where the housing bust was the worst, such as Florida, California and Nevada, and in places like Detroit and Ohio, where the recession was particularly deep because of a dependence on manufacturing, consumers are continuing to be prudent about using credit," said Trey Loughran, president of the Personal Solutions unit at Equifax, in a statement. "In other pockets of the country, consumers are feeling a bit more confident to take on new debt."
I'm not sure it means as much in the Twin Cities. Here's a chart that shows the past 20 months. It shows that Minneapolis, Denver, San Diego, Phoenix -- all cities in roughly the same ballpark -- have followed the same trend over the past year: Less credit card debt in the spring and summer, and more as the end of the year approaches.