Household Debt and Saving during the 2007 Recession
In: Measuring Wealth and Financial Intermediation and Their Links to the Real Economy
Using credit report records and data collected from several household surveys, we analyze changes in household debt and saving during the 2007 recession. We find that, while different segments of the population were affected in distinct ways, depending on whether they owned a home, whether they owned stocks, and whether they had secure jobs, the crisis’ impact appears to have been widespread, affecting large shares of households across all age, income, and education groups. In response to their deteriorated financial situations, households reduced their average spending and increased their saving. This increase in saving—at least in 2009—did not materialize through an increase in contributions to retirement and savings accounts. If anything, such contributions actually declined on average during that year. Instead, the higher saving rate appears to reflect a considerable decline in household debt, as households paid down mortgage debt in particular. At the end of 2009, individuals expected to continue increasing their saving and paying down of debt, which is consistent with what we have observed so far in 2010. In contrast, consumers were pessimistic about the availability of credit, expecting it to become harder to obtain during 2010.
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- Meta Brown & Andrew F. Haughwout & Donghoon Lee & Wilbert Van der Klaauw, 2013.
"The financial crisis at the kitchen table: trends in household debt and credit,"
Current Issues in Economics and Finance,
Federal Reserve Bank of New York, vol. 19(April).
- Meta Brown & Andrew F. Haughwout & Donghoon Lee & Wilbert Van der Klaauw, 2010. "The financial crisis at the kitchen table: trends in household debt and credit," Staff Reports 480, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
- Donghoon Lee & Wilbert Van der Klaauw, 2010. "An introduction to the FRBNY Consumer Credit Panel," Staff Reports 479, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
- Wändi Bruine de Bruin & Simon M. Potter & Robert W. Rich & Giorgio Topa & Wilbert Van der Klaauw, 2010. "Improving survey measures of household inflation expectations," Current Issues in Economics and Finance, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, vol. 16(Aug/Sep).
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