Total Consumer Debt Up Slightly as Deleveraging Process Decelerates

by Sabrina I. Pacifici on February 28, 2013

“In its latest Household Debt and Credit Report, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York announced that in the fourth quarter of 2012 outstanding consumer debt increased slightly ($31 billion), breaking the downward trend observed since the fourth quarter of 2008. The increase was primarily due to a rise in non-housing debt and the stabilization of mortgage debt. Total consumer indebtedness was $11.34 trillion, 0.3 percent higher than the previous quarter but considerably lower than its peak of $12.68 trillion in the third quarter of 2008. While outstanding mortgage debt remained roughly flat, originations of new mortgages rose to $553 billion, a fifth consecutive quarterly increase. Non-housing debt balances increased for the third straight quarter and now stand at $2.75 trillion, up 1.31 percent in the fourth quarter. All non-housing components increased; auto loans up $15 billion, student loans up $10 billion and credit cards up $5 billion.”

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