by Michael Snyder at The Economic Collapse
Americans are going into debt as if tomorrow will never come, but of course tomorrow always arrives eventually. What we are witnessing right now is truly a historic debt binge, and to many of the experts it seems like there is no end in sight to the unrestrained spending that is going on. But are U.S. consumers going into record levels of debt because they are feeling good about things or because they are trying to survive in an increasingly harsh economic environment? In America today, the cost of living has become exceedingly oppressive, employers are laying off large numbers of workers, and poverty and homelessness have been absolutely exploding all over the country. Millions of U.S. households are just barely hanging on by their fingernails, and many desperate consumers have been piling up debt in a frantic attempt to stave off the inevitable.
According to new data that was just released by the Federal Reserve, consumer borrowing increased much faster than expected during the month of December…
US consumers did not rein in their spending this past holiday season, and now have near-record-breaking debt balances to show for it, according to new Federal Reserve data released Monday.
Consumer borrowing spiked by $23.75 billion in November, more than doubling economists’ expectations for a $9 billion increase and sending outstanding credit balances north of the $5 trillion mark for the first time on record, the Fed’s latest Consumer Credit report showed.
The monthly increase during the critical holiday shopping month was driven by higher rates of revolving credit (which includes mostly credit cards), which soared by nearly $19.5 billion — the third-highest monthly increase on records that go back to 1943.
For quite a while, U.S. consumers were able to handle rapidly rising debt levels, but now it appears that we are reaching a breaking point.
In fact, we are being told that “delinquencies are at their highest level since 2012”…Continue Reading