Tuesday, May 12, 2015

NY Fed: Household Debt increased slightly in Q1 2015

by Bill McBride on 5/12/2015 01:11:00 PM

Here is the Q1 report: Household Debt and Credit Report.

From the NY Fed: Delinquencies, Foreclosures and Bankruptcies Improve as Household Debt Stays Flat

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Household Debt and Credit Report revealed that aggregate household debt balances were largely flat in the first quarter of 2015. As of the end of March, total household indebtedness was $11.85 trillion, a $24 billion, or 0.2 percent, increase during the first quarter of this year. The report is based on data from the New York Fed’s Consumer Credit Panel, a nationally representative sample drawn from anonymized Equifax credit data.

The slowdown in growth can be attributed to a negligible uptick in mortgage balances, which are the largest component of household debt. Mortgage balances stood at $8.17 trillion in the first quarter. Additionally, balances on home equity lines of credit (HELOC), which were $510 billion at the end of fourth quarter, 2014, were unchanged in the first quarter of this year.

Non-housing debt balances increased by 0.7 percent from the end of last year, largely due to increases in student loans ($32 billion) and auto loans ($13 billion). These gains were partially offset by a $16 billion decline in credit card balances.

Measures on delinquencies, foreclosures and bankruptcies all improved in the first quarter. The percentage of outstanding debt in some stage of delinquency fell to 5.7 percent from 6.0 percent in the fourth quarter of 2014, with continuing improvements in mortgages. About 112,000 individuals had a new foreclosure notation added to their credit reports in the first quarter of this year, the lowest total since at least 1999. Four percent fewer consumers had a bankruptcy notation added to their credit reports, bringing the quarterly total to its lowest point since early 2006.

“Tight standards on mortgage lending are reflected in both sluggish growth in housing debt as well as substantial reductions in mortgage delinquency and defaults,“ said Andrew Haughwout, senior vice president and economist at the New York Fed.
emphasis added
Total Household Debt Click on graph for larger image.

Here are two graphs from the report:

The first graph shows aggregate consumer debt increased slightly in Q1.  Household debt peaked in 2008, and bottomed in Q2 2013.

The recent increase in debt suggests households (in the aggregate) deleveraging is over.

Delinquency Status The second graph shows the percent of debt in delinquency. The percent of delinquent debt is generally declining, although there is still a large percent of debt 90+ days delinquent (Yellow, orange and red). 

The overall delinquency rate decreased  to 5.7% in Q1, from 6.0% in Q4.

There are a number of credit graphs at the NY Fed site.