American households increasingly relied on their credit cards this spring as prices rose at the fastest rate in four decades.
Credit card balances jumped $46 billion in the second quarter of the year. Compared with a year ago, balances are up 13 percent, the largest increase in more than 20 years, according to data released Tuesday by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
Credit card balances typically rise in the April through June period. This year’s increase was driven by the highest rate of inflation in 40 years. The Consumer Price Index was up 8.6 percent in the quarter compared with a year earlier, the biggest increase since the fourth quarter of 1981. – READ MORE