HousingWire's Morning Radar provides a look at what's trending across media outlets nationwide.
Household wealth in the United States grew from October through December for the first time in three quarters as an increase in stock prices surpassed a decline in home values, reported Bloomberg.
Net worth for households increased by $1.19 trillion in the fourth quarter to $58.5 trillion, but housing wealth decreased by the most in more than a year. The gain is less than half of the previous period’s slum, meaning households may continue to fix their balance sheets hurt by the recession.
“Consumers are generally repairing their balance sheets,” said Guy LeBas, chief fixed-income strategist at Janney Montgomery Scott in Philadelphia. “The performance of the stock market has been a crutch for households. Consumer spending is constrained by the need to pay down debt.”
Americans borrow at highest rates since peak of recession
Americans may be trimming down, but when they did borrow, they borrowed at comparitively high rates last year, reported the Wall Street Journal.
Household debt including credit cards, mortgages auto laons and student debt, rose .25% on an annual basis in the fourth quarter of last year. It was the first increase since the second quarter of 2008, before the Lehman Brothers collapse and the start of economic turmoil.
Quantitative easing debate takes the floor in Britain
Bank policy makers in the UK voted to leave quantitative easing unchanged and rates on hold, reported The Telegraph on Wednesday. The rates, static since 2009, mark the longest period of stagnanation in 62 years.
Despite the bold policy, economists pushed the Bank of England to take larger measures, and the British Chamber of Commerce joined the call for QE to be used to buy securitized small business loans and mortgages to help the flow of credit to the weakest parts of the economy.
— Jessica Huseman