Americans continue to drive the economy along spending money they don’t have. Consumer debt increased yet again in July, setting another record, according to the latest data released by the Federal Reserve.
Total consumer debt surged $23.4 billion in July, driven by a huge jump in credit card balances. The big rise in consumer indebtedness took analysts by surprise. Bloomberg said the increase “exceeded all estimates” in a survey of economists. Overall, consumer debt increased by an annual rate of 6.8% after a 4% increase the previous month.
The price of gold whipsawed this week, driven up and down by various headlines. In this episode of the Friday Gold Wrap, host Mike Maharrey covers some of the big news that moved the markets. But he said that we need to keep our eyes on the big picture. All of this is happening in front of a backdrop of surging debt driven by central bank policy. How much do we owe and what does it mean for the future? Mike talks about it.
Consumer debt is driving American economic growth.
Total outstanding consumer debt surged over $4.1 trillion in the second quarter of 2019, according to the latest data released by the Federal Reserve.
American indebtedness grew by 4.9 over the year, and the quarterly gain from Q1 to Q2 came in at $60 billion — the biggest second-quarter increase since Q2 2016. Over the last 12 months, American consumers have piled on an additional $208 billion of debt.
Consumer debt climbed to a new record once again in April. The question is how much money can American consumers borrow before the bubble pops?
Americans borrowed money at the fastest pace in five months in April, according to the latest Federal Reserve Consumer Credit Report. Total consumer credit increased by $17.5 billion. That’s an annual growth rate of 5.2%
Americans currently owe nearly $4.07 trillion.
Last week we highlighted the rising level of auto loan delinquencies and the growing number of student loan borrowers who can’t make their payments. This week, we got some more bad news for lenders. Subprime credit card charge-offs remain at levels reminiscent of the Great Recession.
In the first quarter of this year, credit card charge-off rates at all but the largest 100 banks remained above 7% for the sixth quarter in a row. During the peak of the recession, the charge-off rate at these banks was above 7% for just four quarters, and not consecutively.
Consumer debt continues to climb and break records every month. But the pace of borrowing slowed in March, a possible red flag for the US economy.
Total consumer debt rose $10.3 billion in March, hitting a record-setting total of $4.05 trillion, according to the latest report by the Federal Reserve.
Through the first quarter of 2019, American indebtedness increased at a 4.25% annual rate. But the March increase came in at just only 3.1% and ranked as the smallest consumer debt increase in nine months.
The Fed wrapped up another FOMC meeting this week and came out even more dovish than expected. Rate hikes are off the table in 2019 and the central bank now only expects one hike in 2020. In his episode of the Friday Gold Wrap, host Mike Maharrey talks about the meeting and the dirty little secret Reuters let slip out. The goal here is to get you to spend more money and keep the bubble full of air. As Mike put it, “The Fed is trying to feed the debt monster and it wants you to pick up the tab.” He also covered the meeting’s impact on the markets and the latest in political theater.
Americans owe over $1 trillion in credit card debt and recent polling data indicates they aren’t paying off those balances anytime soon.
According to a CNBC article, nearly half of all Americans carry a balance on their credit cards. Of those, only 30% say they will be able to pay off that balance within the next year.
Total consumer debt broke another record in January, according to the latest report by the Federal Reserve.
Borrowing increased by $17.05 billion in the first month of 2019. The increase pushed overall consumer borrowing to a new $4.03 trillion record. That compares with $3.84 trillion in January 2018. That represents a 5.1% annual increase.
The national debt has pushed above the $22 trillion mark, but it’s not just Uncle Sam borrowing himself into oblivion. US household debt climbed to a record $13.54 trillion in the fourth quarter of 2018, according to a report released by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
Total household debt (including mortgages) now stands $869 billion higher than the previous peak of $12.68 trillion in the third quarter of 2008 (right before the crash) and 21.4% above the post-financial-crisis trough reached in the second quarter of 2013.