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Thursday, September 17, 2009

Consumers and Businesses Rebuilding Balance Sheets

The Fed released the latest Flow of Funds statement, which contains a lot of interesting information (Calculated Risk put the "jump" in wealth in perspective). I'll focus my efforts on the shift we are seeing away from consumer and business borrowing (rebuilding their balance sheets) to that of government borrowing, which is more than picking up the slack. Per Bloomberg:

Consumer debt fell at a 1.7 percent annual pace, the fourth consecutive decline. Mortgage borrowing dropped at a 1.4 percent pace from April through June, while other forms of consumer credit fell at a 6.5 percent rate, the Fed’s report showed.

Total borrowing by consumers, businesses and government agencies increased at an annual rate of 4.9 percent last quarter, led by a 28 percent surge in federal government debt, even as household and business debt fell.

Source: Federal Reserve