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Thursday, April 26, 2018

Quickie Update
Household Income not Keeping up with Debt

Household Debt Jumps as 2017 Marks the Fifth Consecutive Year of Annual Growth

The Center for Microeconomics Data latest Quarterly Report on Household Debt and Credit reveals that total household debt reached a new peak in the fourth quarter of 2017, rising $193 billion to reach $13.15 trillion. Balances climbed 1.6 percent on mortgages, 0.7 percent on auto loans, 3.2 percent on credit cards, and 1.5 percent on student loans this past quarter.

(Click on image to enlarge detail)

In conjunction with the content of my previous article (See: Are We Heading Towards the Next Financial Crisis?), this update is, to say the least, very disturbing.

This trend shown in the chart above is alarming due to its consistency since about 2013. Note that the non-housing component is rising at a much higher rate than the component mostly attributed to mortgages. Stagnation of salaries alongside increase in the accrual rates of personal credit card debt as well as of student debt are major factors in this picture.

Considering today's very tight job market, this is an opportunity for workers to demand higher pay rate. The lower corporate income tax on corporations should facilitate accommodation of worker's demand for raises. The question remains open, whether an equalization of household income will actually take place, as a result of the tax changes in fiscal year 2018. Will Corporate America share their bounty with American workers and contribute to true growth of our economy.

All the signs are pointing to a different directions though namely, driving personal debt to much higher limits by easing off bank regulations, all while simultaneously, raising interest rates.

A certain businessman who declared bankruptcy six times in a row, yet rose to high economic and political prominence, is proving that everything is possible in America. However, for most of us, experiencing bankruptcy, even once is far too much. 

See also:

--Dr. Flywheel 

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