For First Time in 4 Years, Americans Borrowing More

Household debts up 0.3%, perhaps showing economy rebounding
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 1, 2013 10:31 AM CST
For First Time in 4 Years, Consumers Borrowing More

American household debt rose in the fourth quarter of 2012, the first rise since 2008 when the recession was in full force, reports the Wall Street Journal. Debts rose 0.3% to $11.34 trillion, including $553 billion in new mortgages, the single biggest source of consumer debt. "There are signs that the four-year-long contraction is slowing," says one analyst.

US debt levels are still $1.3 trillion below their 2008 peak, and while housing debt shows signs of rebounding, credit card debt fell 4% in 2012, indicating consumers are probably not ready to resume big spending again. Outstanding students loans also remain very high: $966 billion at the end of 2012, compared to $400 billion in 2005. (More household debt stories.)

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