Household debt continued to rise in the fourth quarter of 2012, offsetting positive momentum gained from an overall rise in household net worth for the same time period.
Data included in the Federal Reserve's Flow of Funds Report shows household net worth — or the difference between the value of assets and liabilities — increasing by roughly $1.1 trillion from the third to fourth quarter, reaching $66 trillion at the end of 2012.
Comparatively, that is up from the fourth-quarter of 2011 when household net worth reached $58.5 trillion.
Household debt, on the other hand, increased at an annual rate of 2% in the fourth quarter of 2012. Mortgage debt continued to fall, contracting three-fourths of a percentage point during the fourth quarter as consumer credit card debt rose at an annual rate of 6.5%.
Household debt overall reached $12.8 trillion at the end of 2012, down slightly from $13.2 trillion a year earlier.