Household Net Worth Continues to Decline Even as Debt Lessens

by devteam December 9th, 2011 | Share

The net worth of U.S. households worsened during the thirdrnquarter of 2011 according to the Federal Reserve’s Flow of Funds Summary forrnthe quarter.  The figure, whichrnrepresents the difference between the values of a household’s assets and itsrnliabilities, declined about $2.4 trillion to an estimated $57.4 trillion.</p

Household debt declined by an annual rate of 1.25 percent,rncontinuing the contraction that began in the third quarter of 2008, almostrnentirely because of a drop of 1.25 percent (annualized) in mortgage debt,rnalthough this rate has lessened since the first half of the year.  In contrast, consumer credit rose for thernfourth quarter in a row with an annualized rate of increase in the thirdrnquarter that was also 1.25 percent.</p

Nonfinancial business debt was up at a rate of 3.50 percent,rna 1 point decrease from the rate in the second quarter.  Corporate bonds outstanding and businessrnloans increased while commercial mortgage debt continued to decline although atrna more moderate pace than in 2010.  Overallrndomestic nonfinancial sectors expanded at a seasonally adjusted annual rate ofrn4.25 percent, about 1.25 percentage points faster than in the second quarter.  </p

State and local government debt was unchanged during thernquarter while debt held by the federal government increased at an annual raternof 14 percent.</p

At the end of the third quarter outstanding domesticrnnonfinancial debt totaled $37.8 trillion, household debt was 13.2 trillion,rnnonfinancial business debt was $11.5 trillion and total government debt wasrn$13.1 trillion.</p

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About the Author


Steven A Feinberg (@CPAsteve) of Appletree Business Services LLC, is a PASBA member accountant located in Londonderry, New Hampshire.

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