Auto loan delinquencies hit 10-year high

A further sign of the weak economy, auto loans at least two months delinquent hit a 10-year high in January, Fitch Ratings said today, signaling the continued spread of consumer weakness to beyond homes and credit cards. The firm said 0.77 percent of U.S. prime and subprime auto asset-backed securities were more than 60 days behind on payments, with the rate jumping 12 percent from December and 44 percent from a year ago. Subprime delinquencies topped the 4 percent level for the first time since late 1997, reaching 4.03 percent last month, up 10 percent from December and 43 percent from a year earlier.

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