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Quarterly Debt Monitor: Consumer Debt Growth Stalls Despite Strong Sectors


ST. LOUIS ― Total per capita consumer debt fell across the nation in the third quarter of 2016, as reported in The Quarterly Debt Monitor. Serious delinquency rates largely improved, with the exception of auto debt, according to the report from the Center for Household Financial Stability at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.   

“In the third quarter of 2016, real per capita consumer debt for the nation declined after an extended period of positive growth,” the report states. “Auto debt grew at a rapid 8 percent rate across the nation in the prior quarter and slowed to a 6.2 percent growth rate in the third quarter.”

Authors Don E. Schlagenhauf and Lowell R. Ricketts looked at auto, mortgage, credit card and student loan debt, as well as home equity lines of credit (HELOC) for the nation and the four largest metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) in the Eighth Federal Reserve District: Little Rock, Ark., Louisville, Ky., Memphis, Tenn., and St. Louis. This issue also contains a special section focused on smaller District MSAs including Evansville, Ind.-Ky.; Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers, Ark.-Mo.; Jackson, Tenn.; and Springfield, Mo.

“Consumer debt growth in the smaller District MSAs is much higher than in the larger MSAs,” the report states.

For the full text of the second issue of The Quarterly Debt Monitor, visit the Center for Household Financial Stability online.  For further information on individual MSAs or for general media inquiries, please contact Laura Taylor at 314-444-8783 or