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Staggering Consumer Debt Nearing Recession Levels

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The subprime mortgage crisis combined with credit card debt restrictions curtailed debt as a source of funds. high unemployment cut back on wages. Many people have never caught up. As a result, consumer spending may not recover to pre-recession levels.

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There is no doubt consumer debt levels have worsened. As we discuss in the podcast, Canadians added 3.5% more to total household debt in 2018. The debt-to-income ratio, an often-watched metric, was restated by Statistics Canada and seasonally adjusted, with the result being that Canadians now owe $1.78 for every dollar of income they earn.

However, it was not elevated or depressed leading into the Great Recession. Likely consumer credit growth is not a recession flag in the New normal. household debt Payments As A Percent of.

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Consider consumer bankruptcies, for example. In times of economic growth, you would expect fewer consumers filing for bankruptcies. This could be because they have a job, savings, or they are able to pay off their debts. In the second quarter of 2017, there were 224,020 consumer bankruptcies in the U.S. economy.

U.S. consumer confidence remains vigorous and stock market indices continue to set record high levels. To mitigate the.

According to the most recent national credit trends report from Equifax, consumer debt now stands at $11.2 trillion, slightly more than the $11.1 trillion recorded before the recession in 2006. The figure is substantially lower than the peak of $12.4 trillion noted in October of 2008.

Total consumer credit increased by $17.5 billion. That’s an annual growth rate of 5.2%. Americans currently owe nearly $4.07 trillion. The consumer debt figures include credit card debt, student loans and auto loans, but do not factor in mortgage debt. Americans charged up their credit cards in April.

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That said, up until now, the cost of the staggering increases in notional consumer debt outstanding has been offset by lower interest rates. As a result, historically low rates have have kept the ratio of household debt service to disposable income levels near multi-decade lows. But rising rates could change all this in the very near future.