Q3 2016 Household Debt Up +112 Billion, But Down Relative To Income; Private Sector Deleveraging Continues

According to today’s update by the Federal Reserve US Household debt edged up by $112 billion in Q3 of 2016:

As you can see this is above the 2008 peak that kicked off the Great Recession.

However these are absolute numbers. If we look at household debt relative to personal income, we can confirm that household deleveraging continues:

Private debt = household debt + financial business debt + nonfinancial business debt. The ratio of private debt to GDP (or GDI) gives us an idea how indebted the US private sector overall is in relation to its income. And here, too, we observe that overall private debt deleveraging continues in Q3 of 2016, now at around 230% of GDI:

This is off very high levels, to be sure, so deleveraging may well continue for a while:

The level of private debt to income provides a snapshot of financial stability of private sector actors. A realization on the part of households or business that they are too indebted to repay debts can increase their liquidity preference and reduce private consumption and business investment demand as actors shore up their respective balance sheets.

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