This week FICO and the National Bureau of Credit Histories (NBKI), Russia’s leading credit bureau, released data showing that Russian consumers made more late payments during the first quarter of 2012. This slight increase wouldn’t be worth noting, except that it marks the first decrease in the FICO® Credit Health Index for Russia since mid-2009.
The FICO Credit Health Index measures the overall credit health of the country, based on the percentage of consumer loans and credit cards reported to NBKI that are delinquent by more than 60 days. With an index now at 113, representing a bad rate of 7.75 percent, the picture still looks much healthier than in 2009. But we will be watching this trend closely to see if it represents a blip, or the start of a downward trend. Russian credit quality can be impacted by both oil prices and inflation, so it’s important to have an eye on macroeconomic trends when forecasting consumer debt performance.