While TransUnion reported earlier this week that credit card delinquency rates in the U.S. are at their lowest point in more than 17 years, consumer sentiment remains bleak. Thursday's Labor Department report of a hike in the July Consumer Price Index only complicates the prospect of heightened consumer activity.
But amid the uncertainty, Americans are showing greater satisfaction with their credit cards and the companies that issue them. The most recent U.S. Credit Card Satisfaction Study from J.D. Power and Associates shows an increase in overall contentment for the second-straight year.
The 1,000-point satisfaction index - which measures interaction, credit card terms, billing and payment processing, rewards and problem resolution, among others concerns - averaged 731 points for this year. In 2010, the figure expanded to 714, up from 705 the year before.
"While the perception of credit card brands has increased from last year, this strong upward indicator could certainly turn, given the highly volatile markets of late," said Michael Beird, director of banking services at J.D. Power and Associates.
The study may indicate a desire to spend that remains mired in stagnant wage growth and widespread unemployment.