Staggering Consumer Debt Nearing Recession Levels

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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.

There are some other indicators that are pointing to the likelihood of a recession in the near future. One of these is the Manufacturer’s Purchasing Managers’ Index, which just hit its lowest level.

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While consumers deleveraged after the Great Recession, they ultimately resumed their borrowing and we are now at a record high household debt. new-record level, we may face a decreasing rate of.

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Between 1960 and 1984, the U.S. personal savings rate – which is savings as a percentage of disposable personal income – never fell below 8%. That level of national thrift is far out of reach today. In December 2017, the personal savings rate dropped to 2.4%, its lowest level since the debt-fueled boom of the mid-2000s.

For a typical borrower, an increased debt load results in dramatically higher amounts coming out of monthly paychecks. For example, according to one recent study, the average student loan payment for a 20-to-30 year old borrower in 2015 was $351, a payment amount more than 50 percent higher than it was a decade ago.

It is truly staggering to see how much debt has been accumulated in the decade following the Great Recession. Debts in the categories of auto loans, credit cards, and student loans have topped a confounding $1 trillion, the highest levels on record without adjusting for inflation.