The slowdown in discretionary spending has been widely reported. Yet, banks are trying to push their retail business as investment activity declines in the economy. One fallout of that, as the chart shows, is the increase in the number of credit cards issued. After the North Atlantic financial crisis, credit card issuances had come down as banks became stricter on new issuances and withdrew some cards because of rising bad loans in this category. Now, not only are they pushing new credit cards, they are also more relaxed in extending credit, as can be seen from the rising credit card receivables in their books.