Consumer credit card balances fell for the second straight month, according to data released Friday by the Federal Reserve.
The Federal Reserve's latest G.19 consumer credit report showed a 3.3% drop in revolving debt as cardholders shied away from racking up more debt. Revolving debt, which is made up almost entirely of credit card debt, declined by $2.2 billion in February to $798.6 billion.
It's unclear whether consumers are still paying down their holiday debt or are cutting back on spending with credit.
The Fed's monthly report also looks at nonrevolving debt, which includes auto loans, student loans and loans for mobile homes, boats and trailers. Nonrevolving debt rose 7.7% to $1.7 trillion. That was enough to overwhelm the drop in credit card debt, so overall consumer credit - the combination of both revolving and nonrevolving debt - increased by 4.25%, hitting $2.5 trillion.
Credit card lenders are feeling more optimistic about the economy, according to FICO's quarterly survey of bank risk professionals. The survey found that fewer lenders expect consumers to miss their credit card payments and a larger number expect to hand out more cards than they did the first several years after the recession.
That could mean more cardholders - and, as a result, more debt - especially as lenders become more aggressive in scoping out new customers.