For all intents and purposes, the US has kicked its credit card addiction. Revolving credit, which the US government first started tracking in 1968, was going gangbusters for decades, driven by credit card debt. After the crisis, it's nearly dead in the water. This is an interesting article that takes a look at household debt and savings. Very interesting to see the trend and some good charts (VIEW LINK)
Aussie credit card balances surged tenfold from $5 bil to $50bil between 1995 and 2012. Like Jordan pointed out, they are now faling. Part of the Master of Finance I'm currently finishing off was a case study on the Aus credit card industry, I've put on of my charts up here for you to check out the trend: http://i.imgur.com/qyEFbBI.png?1 Card providers are facing a shrinking industry.
Great article James - similar feature occurring here in Oz with credit card balances declining. Problem of course is there friends in Washington are adding it in bucketloads. Additional $7 Trillion in debt - equivalent to an extra $48k in debt per taxpayer. Ouch!
Very interesting & informative article
If you look at the jobs figures from last week and the trend in retail hiring + add the low level of CC debt you could quite easily build a case suggesting that retail trading over Christmas/Holidays could be quite good in the US.