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Economy in Brief

U.S. Loan Delinquencies Up, Real Estate Soared
by Tom Moeller November 26, 2007

For all loans and leases during the third quarter, the Federal Reserve Board Reported that the delinquency rate increased to 2.12% from 1.86% during the second quarter of 2007. While a still low rate, delinquencies have risen to the highest level since late 2003.

The dollar value of these loans totaled $134 trillion, nearly double the level at the low during 2005 and double the running rate of $67 trillion during 1998.

Delinquent payments on residential real estate loans continued to power the overall rise. Rising to 2.37% of all real estate loans, the current rate is the highest since 1997. Commercial real estate loans remain fairly current with a delinquency rate of 1.94%, but late payments on residential real estate loans jumped to 2.74% last quarter, the highest since 2003.

The dollar value of those delinquent residential real estate loans jumped to $52.1 trillion, more than four times the level ten years ago and more than one third the dollar value of late payments of bank's books. The crunch has come with the rise in short term interest rates as they have raised the reset rates on adjustable rate loans, notably those written for payments of interest only

For consumer loans delinquent payments also are up to a 3.14% rate versus 2.90% for all of last year. Delinquent payments on credit card debt rose to 4.29% from 4.01% last year but the gain is quite a bit larger for credit cards from the low of 3.54% late in 2005.

The dollar value of those delinquent credit card payments rose amounted to $15.1 trillion, triple the low in 1994.

Delinquencies on C&I loans rose slightly q/q to 1.22% from 1.18% during 2Q and from 1.27% last year.

The dollar values of the these loans amounted to $16.2 trillion during 3Q, up 15% from last year but equaled just roughly ten percent of total delinquencies of the bank's books.

These data series are available in Haver's USECON database.

Gauging the Uncertainty of the Economic Outlook from Historical Forecasting Errors is a very recent working paper from the Federal Reserve Board and it can be found here.

Loan Delinquency Rate (%) 3Q '07 2Q '07 3Q '06 2006 2005 2004
Total Loan & Leases 2.12 1.86 1.57 1.57 1.56 1.80
  Consumer Loans 3.14 2.99 2.93 2.90 2.81 3.08
  Real Estate Loans 2.37 2.02 1.48 1.48 1.37 1.44
  Commercial & Industrial Loans 1.22 1.18 1.25 1.27 1.51 2.17
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