GOOD NEWS: Consumer credit card ("revolving" debt) balances shrank for a record 18th straight month, according to data released by the Federal Reserve.
BAD NEWS: Bankruptcies filed during the first six months of 2010 increased 14% over the same six-month period in 2009, and are on pace to surpass 1.6 million by the end of the year.
Gee, I wonder if there's a correlation between declining credit card balances and people declaring bankruptcy ... Let me think about that one ... hmmmm
Additional information ... If we look at the the 12-month period ending June 30, 2010:
* The 1,572,597 total filings for this period represents a 20% increase from the same period in 2009, which totaled 1,306,315.
* Bankruptcy filing rate per thousand U.S. residents totaled 5.05 for all chapters during the 12-month period ending June 30
* Total consumer debt stood at $2.4 trillion at the end of June, 2010 (which is about $150 billion less than in 2008, when the market collapse started).
With the American consumer tapped out, and other developments in unemployment and the housing sector, none of this is news to write home about.
Note: Don't worry about the small discrepancies in the consumer debt amounts between the two links in the "Good News" category. The Fed regularly revises it's data.