ATLANTA (5/5/15)--Most major U.S. metros experienced thinning levels of consumer debt in the first quarter, according to a recent report from Equifax.
Through March 2015, only six of the nation’s 25 largest markets saw consumer debt climb on an annual basis, including Houston (4.4%), Dallas (2.5%), Denver (1.3%), Pittsburgh (1.1%), Phoenix (0.4%) and Portland (0.07%).
Consumer debt still appears to be edging upward in all other areas, however, as the downward trend was largely driven by continued reductions in first- and second-mortgage debt, according to Assad Lazarus, Equifax Personal Information Solutions interim unit leader.
“The latest numbers show that while the mortgage market continues to heal, the overall appetite for debt is growing across the board as consumers continue to open their wallets,” Lazarus said. “Every major city is exhibiting growth in non-mortgage debt, which is a reflection of the improvement in the U.S. economy.”
Consumer debt overall slipped to $9.99 trillion in the first quarter from $10.1 trillion the prior year, according to the report.
Over that stretch, Miami (-3.6%), Los Angeles (-2.6%), Chicago (-2.5%), San Diego (-2.2%) and New York (-2.03%) posted the largest declines in consumer debt.