One indicator of how the nation’s economy is operating is the rate at which car owners are able to make (or not make) their monthly payments. According to a recent media report, the delinquency rate for vehicle payments has fallen to an all-time low. TransUnion, a credit reporting company, began tracking this data in 1999, which it calculates as the percentage of borrowers 60 or more days past due. The delinquency rate for the second quarter of 2012 was 0.33 percent, down from 0.36 percent in the first quarter and a full 25 percent lower than last year. This drop in delinquency rate comes at the same time as auto sales in the United States have risen 14 percent in the first seven months of 2012. Experts suggest this is a result of more relaxed credit conditions, allowing buyers with poorer credit to find a way to purchase a new car. This trend could eventually result in the delinquency rate climbing back up.