The total amount of U.S. credit card debt is approaching the one trillion dollar mark for the first time, leaving many experts to express concern that consumers have returned to their old spending habits. Following the recession, many made an effort to pay down credit card debt or at least stop adding to it, but the last quarter of 2015 shows that most have begun increasing their credit card debt. During that quarter alone, consumers charged up more new debt than was accumulated during the combined years of 2009, 2010, and 2011. However, this is just one sign that the economy may once again be headed into a downward spiral.
The oil and gas industry is also showing signs of a decline. Worldwide, as much as 35 percent of companies in this industry could be slipping into bankruptcy, and while not all of these companies are in the US, a crash in the industry will affect the economy here. The number of oil rigs going up in the country has also hit its lowest level ever, leaving many rig workers unemployed.
Job cuts have also increased. In January alone, cuts jumped 218 percent from the end of 2015. Employees have heard the word “depression” used when being laid off. Manufacturing activity has declined for the past four months, while factory orders have shrunk for the past 15 months.
These signs are troubling and will most likely lead to consumers adding even more credit card debt as more jobs are cut.
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