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Credit card delinquencies in October rose for the second consecutive month to reach their highest levels in five months, Fitch Group's Fitch Ratings reported this week. Fitch's index of credit card accounts at least 60 days past due rose 19 basis points, to 4.41% through the end of October from 4.22% in September. Credit card delinquencies in June reached a record high of 4.45%. Charge-offs on outstanding credit card receivables in October fell for the third consecutive month to 10.09%, down 66 basis points from 10.75% in September. But recent data suggest charge-offs likely will rise in the near future, Fitch says. "The charge-off improvement is expected to be short-lived, given the recent delinquency trends," Cynthia Ullrich, Fitch senior director, said in a statement. Fitch said it expects U.S. unemployment levels to peak at 10.3% in the second quarter of next year, remaining above 10% throughout 2010. "Consumer credit quality remains under significant strain as a result of the persistent weakness in the labor market," Michael Dean, Fitch managing director, said in a statement.

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