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Household Debt at $12.58 Trillion, Near 2008 Peak

At the Washington Free Beacon on Sunday, Ali Meyer writes that "largely due to credit card and student loan debt," household debt now stands at $12.58 trillion, which is "just shy of its 2008 peak." She links to a report from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

Here's how she begins her reporting:

"Total household debt climbed by $226 billion in the fourth quarter of 2016, rising to $12.58 trillion, according to a report from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

"The $12.58 trillion in household debt today is only 0.8 percent shy of its 2008 peak at $12.68 trillion, when the United States was in a recession. The increase in debt in the fourth quarter of 2016 is the largest quarterly increase since the last quarter of 2013.

"Most of the increase was due to credit card debt, followed by student loans. According to the report, credit card balances increased by 4.3 percent since the previous quarter, and student loan balances increased by 2.4 percent.

"In the last quarter, credit card balances increased to $779 billion overall, while student loan debt balances rose to $1.31 trillion. The report also finds that 11.2 percent of student loan debt was 90 or more days delinquent or in default.

"The other contributors to household debt were auto loan balances and mortgage debt. While auto loan balances increased by 1.9 percent to $1.16 billion, mortgage debt increased by 1.6 percent to $8.48 trillion."

On January 13, 2017, we growled that the federal deficit  for the 4th calendar quarter of 2016 was $208 billion, leaving the national debt at just under $20 trillion on December 30, 2016.

As we growled on September 27, 2016, the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget believes "the United States is more poorly equipped to handle the next recession than it was to handle the most recent one."

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