Charts of the Day: Credit Card Debt Piles Up as Pandemic Hits Economy
The quality of China’s credit card debt has worsened as the coronavirus outbreak hit the economy this year.
As of the end of March, the country’s total outstanding credit card debt overdue for at least six months amounted to nearly 91.88 billion yuan ($13 billion), up 23.7% from the end of last year, according to data (link in Chinese) from the People’s Bank of China. This marked the second highest figure since the data series began in 2008, following 91.92 billion yuan at the end of September.
Meantime, the overall outstanding card balance payable to banks stood at 7.26 trillion yuan, down 4.3% from the end of last year, marking the first quarterly decline since the last quarter of 2011.
China’s economy shrank 6.8% year-on-year in the first three months of this year, the first quarterly contraction since the data series began in 1992, official data showed. In February and April, the country’s surveyed urban unemployment rate stood at 6.2% and 6%, respectively, marking the highest and second-highest readings in available data going back to January 2017 and signaling shrinking incomes for many households.
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