Household Deleveraging Continues

A blog about business and economics.
Aug. 29 2012 5:27 PM

Household Deleveraging Continues

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A new report out from the New York Federal Reserve shows that household deleveraging continues apace, with aggregate debt now down to levels last seen in the winter of 2006-2007 and even as total income is now higher than it was back then.

That's mostly due to a decline in mortgage debt which, in turn, is a mix of defaults and people actually paying off their debts. Mortgage debt started declining in 2009, at which point it was overwhelmingly about foreclosures. But the ratio has steadily shifted and in 2011 it was about half and half and by now it's mostly people paying off debts rather than losing homes due to inability to pay.

Matthew Yglesias is the executive editor of Vox and author of The Rent Is Too Damn High.

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