Mortgage credit defaults increased slightly in July according to the Consumer Credit Default Indices released by S&P Dow Jones Indices and Experian.

Overall, the credit default rate increased one basis point monthly to 0.83% in July, however it is still down from last year’s 0.92%. The first mortgage default rate also increased one basis point from last month to 0.66%, and now but remains down from last year’s 0.8%.

Despite this increase, default rates remain low historically.

“Consumer credit default rates remain close to 12-year lows amidst moderate growth in spending and incomes,” says David Blitzer, S&P Dow Jones Indices managing director and chairman of the Index Committee.

This report comes shortly after the number of foreclosures began to return to levels witnessed before 2008, Equifax’s June 2016 National Consumer Credit Trends Report found.

Of the five major cities measured in the survey, four saw their overall default rates decrease in July. Chicago decreased 12 basis points for the month to 0.89%, New York decreased six basis points to 0.77%, Dallas decreased five basis points to 0.69% and Los Angeles decreased four basis points to 0.63%. Miami, however, increased six basis points to 1.37%.

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(Source: S&P/Experian Consumer Credit Default Indices)

“The consumer economy is growing with few significant difficulties in accessing credit,” Blitzer said. “Personal incomes rose 2.7% in the last year.”

“Employment is increasing, median wage growth, as reported by the Atlanta Federal Reserve Bank, is 3.6% at annual rates, and consumer sentiment continues at high levels,” he said. “Consumers’ use of debt has expanded with both consumer credit and mortgage debt balances rising.”

Blitzer explained why the economy is experiencing more uncertainties than usual, and what to expect through the rest of the year.

“This being an election year, and one when there will definitely be a new president next January, the economy faces more than the usual uncertainties,” he said. “With the electoral outcome unknown and large differences between the candidates’ policy proposals, one should expect these uncertainties to cause some delays in business investments or consumer spending on big ticket items.”

“Delays in spending are likely to limit the growth in consumer and corporate debt, avoiding substantial increases in default rates in the near term,” he concluded.

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(Source: S&P/Experian Consumer Credit Default Indices)

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