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US Total Household Debt Continues to Climb, Tops $13 Trillion in Q2

US Total Household Debt Continues to Climb, Tops $13 Trillion in Q2

Peter Hanks, Strategist

Talking Points:

  • Total household debt in Q2 2018 rose by $82 billion, to reach $13.29 trillion
  • The largest portion of household debt, mortgage balances, rose to $9 trillion - does not top 2008
  • As interest rates continue to rise, debt will become more costly and affect refinancing

Check out our Economic Calendar for upcoming economic data and central bank events.

The New York Fed released their quarterly report on household debt Tuesday morning as debt levels in the United States continue to tick upward. The report revealed Q2 2018 was the sixteenth consecutive quarter that posted an increase. The total now stands at $13.29 trillion, with non-housing debt taking up a larger share of total debt than in past years. Still, mortgage balances remain the largest portion of debt at $9 trillion, up $80 billion from Q1 2018.

Not to be outdone, auto loans ticked higher to continue their six year uptrend. They now total $1.24 trillion after a $9 billion Q2 increase. Credit card debt climbed $14 billion in the same span. Student loans remain the sector of debt with the most delinquencies, followed by credit cards.

As the Fed continues to raise interest rates, borrowing will obviously become more costly and debt levels should begin to level off or decrease. The Fed will likely hike rates at their next meeting, with multiple Fed officials calling for one or two more hikes in 2018. The resultant rate would be 2.00%-2.25% assuming the Fed continues with its usual 25 basis point hike.

The report’s impact on the dollar was non-existent with the DXY-dollar basket continuing to press 2018 highs. Equities were similarly unmoved by the information, posting some early gains as global markets begin to digest the risk associated with emerging markets following the Turkish lira’s recent loss of value, The report was not expected to have a big impact on markets, but it is important to be wary of rising debt in the United States. For other events and data releases this week, Read the FX Week Ahead for a quick overview.

DailyFX forecasts on a variety of currencies such as the US Dollar or the Euro are available from the DailyFX Trading Guides page. If you’re looking to improve your trading approach, check out Traits of Successful Traders. And if you’re looking for an introductory primer to the Forex market, check out our New to FX Guide.

--Written by Peter Hanks, Junior Analyst for

DailyFX provides forex news and technical analysis on the trends that influence the global currency markets.