JULY 30, 2014

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Report: Rising household debt reflects growth in consumer confidence

by Reg Clodfelter

For the first time in six years, aggregate consumer debt has increased for three consecutive quarters, reflecting growing consumer confidence and “a sign of a return to more normal times,” according to The National Economy: Mid-Year 2014, a new report from Delta Associates and Transwestern.

Though the growth in consumer debt has been significant — first quarter 2014 saw aggregate consumer debt rise by $129 billion — the report does note that all consumer debt is not created equal, pointing out that lots of new debt is from student loans, “which will potentially limit household spending in the future and delay other major purchases such as those for homes and automobiles.”

Pointing to other economic indicators — such as a 120 basis point drop in unemployment during the 12 m

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