The Consumer Credit Index (CCI) shows credit health deteriorated at a slower pace in the third quarter compared to the second quarter of 2014, credit and information management company TransUnion said on Wednesday.
The CCI increased from 48.9 in the second quarter to 49.3 in the third quarter of the year, the credit management group said in a statement.
“Despite this we are now heading for three straight years of declining credit health,” TransUnion CEO Geoff Miller said.
“Millions of consumers are still feeling the pressure of tight cash flow, with household cash flow levels falling to their lowest point since early 2010.”
Levels above 50 show improving consumer health and below 50 indicate declining credit health.
However, Miller said there was light at the end of the tunnel.
“While cash flow remained weak, it did not turn negative. There is also some relief in the form of slightly lower inflation, which is offsetting the current poor income growth,” he said.
The CCI is an indicator of consumer credit health measuring the ability of consumers to service existing credit obligations within their monthly household budget.
The CCI, released on Wednesday, also revealed that the rate of new consumer loan defaults declined further in the third quarter on a year-on-year basis.
“This is indicative of the more prudent lending measures that have been put into place since 2013,” said Miller.
“The distressed borrowing indicator stabilised in Q3. However, it still shows that households are being forced to access more credit to supplement their budget.”