usatoday.com — Delinquencies on consumer loans continued to rise at the end of the year, according to data released by the American Bankers Association. The delinquency rate during the fourth quarter of 2008 across multiple consumer loans increased to 3.22%. It is the highest delinquency rate since the ABA began tracking the data in the 1970s. The delinquency rate was 2.90% during the third quarter. Job losses during were the primary reason for the rise in loan delinquencies during the quarter, says James Chessen, the ABA's chief economist. "Job losses have really hurt the economy and will continue to inflict pain for several months," Chessen said. "The greater the losses are, the more severe an impact it has on all credit markets."
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