U.S. Credit Cards Metrics Look Good, but Will Profits Tailspin in 2017?

Despite the current rosy picture, there may be trouble ahead.

Most recent numbers published by the Federal Reserve indicate that U.S. credit cards are growing healthily, with increasing portfolio value, record low delinquency rates, and stable interest rates, except for the return on assets (ROA) metric. As we look toward 2017, we expect steady performance with a focus on more regulatory scrutiny, interest rate increases, and tighter competition, which will task the sacrosanct ROA.  Unforeseen economic shock could entirely disrupt the model. 

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