“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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