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Fewer Chicago consumers defaulting on credit

Feb 16, 2011 Brian Bradley

One of the nation's largest cities may be in store for economic gains as consumers continue to decrease their default rate. According to new data from Experian and Standard & Poor's, the default rate in the Windy City declined in January, representing improvements on both a monthly and annual basis. According to the two financial houses, Chicago's consumer default rate fell to 2.74 percent - a 42 percent decline between January 2010 and January 2011. Meanwhile, the monthly average fell 12 percent from December 2010 through the first month of 2011. "The reduced default rates seen here demonstrate that household balance sheets are being put back into shape and should support gains in spending," David Blitzer, managing director and chairman of the S&P Index Committee, said in a statement. Experian and S&P analyzed the default rate in five major metropolitan areas, including Los Angeles and New York, where the default rates fell to 2.75 percent and 2.64 percent, respectively. In Dallas, the default rate slipped to 2 percent, while defaults in Miami fell 36 percent to 6.4 percent overall.