Are Consumers Warming Back Up To Debt Spending?
O. Emre Ergungor and Patricia Waiwood, researchers at the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, think consumers might have turned a corner in the way they view debt.
Their latest research starts out by establishing a status quo: from 2007 to 2010, American families of all kinds have been reducing their debt, according to data collected by the Federal Reserve and published in its most recent Survey of Consumer Finances.
But new information from another source, the Senior Loan Officer Opinion Survey, suggests the environment has changed in the new decade.
“Our renewed affection for debt may be just warming up,” the authors say, citing a “sharp increase” in loan demand supported by data from the SLO survey. At the same time, lenders are more willing than ever to extend consumer loans, the survey says.
Here’s the data on growth in demand for consumer loans.
“Even though the events of the recent crisis are fresh in our collective memories,” the authors conclude, “it looks like consumer debt markets may be getting ready to party like it’s 2003.”
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