The Federal Reserve Bank of New York quietly marked the end of a painful phase of U.S. economic history Tuesday, saying that a five-year run of household debt deleveraging was over.
Americans increased household debt by $78 billion in the third quarter, up 0.7% from the previous quarter. In all, though, they have reduced their debt by $1 trillion since the third quarter of 2008, from $12.7 trillion to $11.7 trillion in the third quarter. That long run of reductions came from a combination of paying down liabilities, borrowing less and defaulting. Now, they