In the previous post on the household balance sheet, we saw a drop in household liabilities. Let's take a deeper look at that trend. As always, click on an image for a larger image
Note the first really large drop in household debt acquisition was in 2008 when we saw an annual increase of only .3%. The 6.7% increase in 2007 was still in line the annual percentage increases in the 1990s.
We see that by the second quarter of 2008, the quarter to quarter percentage change was barely positive. Since then it has been negative. This chart directly tracks the two primary components: mortgage and consumer debt.
Household mortgage debt growth went negative in the second quarter of 2008,
But non-mortgage debt's percentage increase went negative in the fourth quarter of 2008.
This information tells us the US consumer is now shedding debt. This is consistent with the contraction we have been seeing in consumer credit. It bodes well for the future because household debt reached incredibly high proportions during the last expansion.