The Conference Board Leading Economic Index for the U.S. increased 0.3% in August to 116.2 after a a 0.6% increase in July and a 0.3% increase in June. In conjunction, core credit card interest rates remained consistent throughout 2011 after hovering around as high as 16% before dropping to a rock bottom 12.64% back in 2010. Over the past 10 months since the beginning of the year, however, rates increased steadily since the June average of 14.83% and now sit at 14.96% for the month of September, up .06% from last month and .13% since January.
Namely, low interest annual percentage rates for September hovered around 10.73%; business card rates averaged 12.91%; student cards averaged 13.77%; and bad credit averaging 24.96%. With this, LEI growth has moderated and positive and negative contributors to the index have been roughly balanced, but the health of the expansion is under a microscope thanks to a sustained weak confidence, which is likely to eventually result in downward pressure.