Recent Signs of Economic Troubles

Rising credit card debt, energy companies flirting with bankruptcy, and more could signal a recession

Recent Signs of Economic Troubles
March 15, 2016

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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irene | 03.15.16 @ 19:02
Oh I hate to hear this, I thought things were picking up
Erin | 03.15.16 @ 19:02
I think as far as gas/oil companies go, it's way past time to be moving to alternative, green fuel sources. I feel bad for the lower end workers whose jobs may be in jeopardy, but I don't have much sympathy for the industry in general. Hopefully we can start getting some people in office who are interested in bringing jobs back to the US.
Alec | 03.15.16 @ 19:02
This is terrifying. We recently had a recession and if what I learned in school is correct, it shouldn't be happening again so soon. With my husband still looking for work since graduating from college, this is not good news.
Carla | 03.15.16 @ 19:03
Times are definitely changing. I see many living beyond their means and trouble is just around the corner. I hope we can have a stable economy soon. This is quite scary.
Sara | 03.15.16 @ 19:03
Yikes I knew credit card debt was high but that is crazy. I am glad we have mostly paid ours down and do not plan on running them up like we did.
trish | 03.15.16 @ 19:04
ugh. We are purposely only using one credit card, with a low credit limit, to avoid credit card debt. Hopefully we will not be part of this statistic!
gracie | 03.15.16 @ 19:05
I keep hearing things are picking up yet all around me there are many people still looking for work especially in the 30+ crowd. Yet last week I saw 2 fast food workers showing off their new mustang and truck. I have a hard time believing their income will sustain payments on vehicles life that for long so it makes me think loans are risky again.
$commenter.renderDisplayableName() | 10.21.20 @ 10:19