In Debt We Trust for U.S. Consumers With $12.7 Trillion Burden

Bloomberg/Vince Golle/08-10-17

After deleveraging in the aftermath of the last U.S. recession, Americans have once again taken on record debt loads that risk holding back the world’s largest economy.

Household debt outstanding — everything from mortgages to credit cards to car loans — reached $12.7 trillion in the first quarter, surpassing the previous peak in 2008 before the effects of the housing market collapse took its toll, Federal Reserve Bank of New York data show. To put the borrowing in perspective, it’s more than the size of China’s economy or almost four times that of Germany’s.

People are borrowing more not necessarily because they’re confident about their financial prospects. They’re doing it for necessities like education or transportation and, in many cases, just to get by.

PG View: We don’t really “trust” debt do we? It can certainly be a beneficial tool, but when it reaches $12.7 trillion, there is reason to be very concerned.

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