Credit cards are down in the US, but the United States credit card industry remains strong, according to data compiled by Bloomberg and Citi.
The companies reported that US cardholders spent an average of $9.23 per credit card in the fourth quarter of 2017, up 2% from the year-ago period.
Thats a 0.2% drop from the fourth-quarter of 2016, and up 0.1% from last year.
Visa’s U.S. cardholders, by contrast, spent an annual average of nearly $8.20.
The US credit industry is dominated by card issuers, and while its difficult to determine a definitive correlation between credit card usage and overall economic health, the trend of declining card use is clear.
Card issuers are in an economic slump, as consumers are abandoning credit cards for cash, and banks are tightening credit conditions.
Credit card companies are struggling to meet credit card payments to customers, as they struggle to make up the loss in business from people cutting back on their spending.
The latest data from the credit card companies comes as they announce that they will increase their dividend payments from 6% to 8%.
The US stock market fell after news of the dividends broke.