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IPFS News Link • Economy - Economics USA

Record Household Debt, Jump In Delinquencies Signal "Worsening Financial Distress", Fed Wa

•, by Tyler Durden

While the market remains focused on tomorrow's CPI print, and to a lesser extent the April retail sales reports, which will both be released at 8:30am on May 15. we should flag another important report that doesn't typically get a lot of attention: the New York Fed's Household Debt and Credit Report for 1Q 2024 which was just published, and where the latest data on credit card debt and delinquencies has recently been the most important part of the report.

While we already know that in the latest monthly consumer credit report published by the Fed last week and covering the month of March, total consumer debt hit a record high (despite a sharp slowdown in credit card growth) even as the personal savings rate plunged to an all-time low, hardly a ringing endorsement for the strength of the US consumer...

... today's report provided more granular details which however did not change the conclusion: the US consumer is getting weaker, and while not in a crisis just yet, will get there soon enough.

As the chart from the NY Fed shows, at the end of the first quarter, US household debt reached a record and more borrowers are struggling to keep up: overall US household debt rose to $17.69 trillion, the NYFed's Quarterly Report on Household Debt and Credit revealed (link here). That's an increase of $184 billion, or 1.1%, from the fourth quarter.  

Consumers have added $3.4 trillion in debt since the pandemic, and that increased debt bears much higher interest rates.

And with both credit card rates and total credit at all time highs, the data corroborate the mounting financial pressures on American families in an age of elevated inflation. The persistent rise in the prices of essentials such as food and rent have strained household budgets, pushing people to borrow against their credit cards to pay for necessities.

Anarchapulco June 2024