The national debt has been a big topic of discussion this campaign season, and for good reason – the United States government’s total indebtedness now tops $16 trillion.
When it comes to the U.S. economy, however, federal government debt is only one (important) piece of the puzzle. Americans’ indebtedness is actually on the wane when you look at the full picture, John Detrixhe reports for Bloomberg News:
U.S. debt has shrunk to a six-year low relative to the size of the economy as homeowners, cities and companies cut borrowing ….
Total indebtedness including that of federal and state governments and consumers has fallen to 3.29 times gross domestic product, the least since 2006, from a peak of 3.59 four years ago, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Private- sector borrowing is down by $4 trillion to $40.2 trillion. …
Reduced borrowing means there is less competition for the U.S. Treasury Department as it sells debt to fund spending programs to help the nation recover from the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. …
Downgrading the U.S. is premature when the two-thirds of American debt that is private is shrinking, according to Jim Vogel, head of government agency-debt research at FTN Financial in Memphis, Tennessee.
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