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U.S. household debt continues to slide

Feb 15, 2011 Brian Bradley

The amount of assumed credit card debt continues to climb nationwide, but a report from the Federal Reserve shows that household debt in the United States is actually on the decline. The Federal Reserve reports that total household debt dipped to $11.4 trillion at the conclusion of Q4 2010, a decrease of $155 billion (1.3 percent) from the previous quarter. That decrease follows another successful debt decrease in the third quarter of 2010, when household debt declined by $110 billion. In all, household debt has been cut significantly since its peak in the third quarter of 2008. Since then, approximately $1.1 trillion of debt has been slashed from consumer accounts. "We appear to be entering a gradual convalescence, as delinquencies begin to subside and some households begin to expand their borrowing again," William Dudley, president of the New York Federal Reserve, told Bloomberg. Meanwhile, household access to credit improved during Q4 2010. During a briefing statement, Dudley stated households increased their non-mortgage debt $7.3 billion to roughly $2.3 trillion during the last three months of 2010, Reuters reports.