January’s first mortgage default rate was 0.69 percent, up from 0.67 percent in December. In January 2018, the rate was 0.72 percent.
The indices’ composite rate rose one basis point to hit 0.90 percent. The bank card default rate rose eight basis points to 3.42 percent while the auto loan default rate fell four basis points to 0.99 percent.
"The uptick in the bank card default rate combined with a decline in the auto default rate reflects volatility in the consumer economy," said David M. Blitzer, Managing Director and Chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices. "Coming off some swings in market sentiment and recovering from the government shut down, there was a sharp drop in December retail sales and a pullback in January automobiles sales. Consumer sentiment has also bounced around, but has recovered in the latest reports. Consumers and investors are both trying to discern which trends will shape the 2019 economy. Despite continuing uncertainty about economic policy, two factors favorable to the economy persist: low inflation and a strong labor market. These trends should support the economy and limit any increase in consumer credit default rates."