U.S. Consumer Bankruptcies Rose 9% in 2010 to 1.5 Million, Institute Says
U.S. consumer bankruptcy filings rose 9 percent last year compared with 2009, reaching 1.53 million, according to the American Bankruptcy Institute, which projected 2010 bankruptcies totaling 1.6 million.
The pace of bankruptcy filings slowed in the last quarter, with fewer petitions in October and November than during the same period a year earlier, according to the Alexandria, Virginia-based ABI. The slowdown at the end of the year was the result of more consumers reducing debt and cutting spending, ABI Executive Director Samuel J. Gerdano said today in an interview.
“I think there are fewer people on the ledge, who are susceptible to that final economic event,” Gerdano said.
In 2010, more individuals filed for bankruptcy than in any year since 2005, when Congress passed legislation making it more difficult for individuals to discharge debt under court protection, Gerdano said. He added that such filings may continue to increase next year.
U.S. manufacturing grew in December at the fastest pace in seven months, while retailers’ 2010 holiday sales jumped 5.5 percent for the best performance since 2005, according to two reports. December payrolls may increase 140,000, according to the median estimate of analysts surveyed by Bloomberg before the Jan. 7 Labor Department report. The unemployment rate may have eased to 9.7 percent from 9.8 percent.
A manufacturing index from the Institute for Supply Management rose to 57 last month from 56.6 in November, the Tempe, Arizona-based group said today. The report on retailers’ holiday sales came from MasterCard Advisors’ SpendingPulse, which measures sales by all payment forms.
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