New data through August 2011 from Equifax shows some encouraging results for the credit card industry.
Bank credit card origination volumes continue to remain strong, with the total number of new bank credit cards opened from January–August 2011 representing a 25%*** increase over the same period in 2010. Retail credit card origination growth continues to rebound after bottoming out in 2010 and is up more than 7%**** during that period and headed into the holiday season when origination volume tends to spike even more.
Equifax notes that subprime originations are also up 56% year over year.
Still, growth in new credit outstandings across consumer loan products remains depressed pre- versus post-recession, with $942 billion in total new credit issued from January–August 2006 vs. $514 billion issued from January– August 2011.