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January 2011 Number 482 by Rajashri Chakrabarti, Donghoon Lee, Wilbert van der Klaauw, and Basit Zafar
Using credit report records and data collected from several household surveys, we analyze changes in household debt and saving during the 2007 recession. We find that, while different segments of the population were affected in distinct ways, depending on whether they owned a home, whether they owned stocks, and whether they had secure jobs, the crisis’ impact appears to have been widespread, affecting large shares of households across all age, income, and education groups. In response to their deteriorated financial situations, households reduced their average spending and increased their saving. This increase in saving—at least in 2009—did not materialize through an increase in contributions to retirement and savings accounts. If anything, such contributions actually declined on average during that year. Instead, the higher saving rate appears to reflect a considerable decline in household debt, as households paid down mortgage debt in particular. At the end of 2009, individuals expected to continue increasing their saving and paying down of debt, which is consistent with what we have observed so far in 2010. In contrast, consumers were pessimistic about the availability of credit, expecting it to become harder to obtain during 2010.
Federal Reserve Bank of New York Staff Reports
Household Debt and Saving during the 2007 Recession
Rajashri Chakrabarti Donghoon Lee Wilbert van der Klaauw Basit Zafar
Staff Report no. 482 January 2011
This paper presents preliminary findings and is being distributed to economists and other interested readers solely to stimulate discussion and elicit comments. The views expressed in this paper are those of the authors and are not necessarily reflective of views at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York or the Federal Reserve System. Any errors or omissions are the responsibility of the authors.
Household Debt and Saving during the 2007 Recession Rajashri Chakrabarti, Donghoon Lee, Wilbert van der Klaauw, and Basit Zafar Federal Reserve Bank of New York Staff Reports, no. 482 January 2011 JEL classification: G01, D14, D12, D91
Using credit report records and data collected from several household surveys, we analyze changes in household debt and saving during the 2007 recession. We find that, while different segments of the population were affected in distinct ways, depending on whether they owned a home, whether they owned stocks, and whether they had secure jobs, the crisis’ impact appears to have been widespread, affecting large shares of households across all age, income, and education groups. In response to their deteriorated financial situations, households reduced their average spending and increased their saving. This increase in saving―at least in 2009―did not materialize through an increase in contributions to retirement and savings accounts. If anything, such contributions actually declined on average during that year. Instead, the higher saving rate appears to reflect a considerable decline in household debt, as households paid down mortgage debt in particular. At the end of 2009, individuals expected to continue increasing their saving and paying down of debt, which is consistent with what we have observed so far in 2010. In contrast, consumers were pessimistic about the availability of credit, expecting it to become harder to obtain during 2010. Key words: household debt and saving, 2007 recession, credit access, mortgage debt
Chakrabarti, Lee, van der Klaauw, Zafar: Federal Reserve Bank of New York (e-mail: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org). The authors have benefited from helpful comments from Meta Brown, Andrew Haughwout, and Joseph Tracy. Maricar Mabutas provided excellent research assistance. The views expressed in this paper are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the position of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York or the Federal Reserve System.
1. Introduction During the 2007 recession many households saw their wealth decline sharply and their income and employment opportunities deteriorate. In this paper we use microeconomic data to analyze changes in household financial decisions during this period and in particular changes in household saving and debt. More specifically, we focus on the following three questions: What is the nature and prevalence of financial distress and how does it vary across households? How have households responded to these new economic conditions? What are consumers’ expectations about future economic outcomes and their future financial behaviors? Our analysis in this paper is based on several unique data sources. First, the FRBNY Consumer Credit Panel, which is based on credit report records, provides detailed insights into developments at the liability side of household balance sheets since 1999. Second, we use information on household financial decisions and expectations, such as on spending and saving, from several recent household surveys. We analyze survey evidence collected between November 2008 and February 2009 by RAND to assess the impact of the financial crisis. 2 In addition, and of particular importance for this study, we analyze data we collected ourselves through a special survey on saving, administered between the end of October 2009 and January 2010 as part of the Household Inflation Expectations Project. 3 Both the RAND and NYFed surveys were administered as part of the RAND American Life Panel (ALP), an internet-based survey. Brief descriptions of the ALP and the FRBNY Consumer Credit Panel are provided in the Appendix. We also verified some of our findings using data from the Consumer Finance Monthly (CFM), a monthly telephone survey conducted by Ohio State University since 2005. We begin in section 2 with an analysis of the extent and nature of the impact of the financial and economic crisis on households. We focus on four main channels, distinguishing between changes in the housing market, stock market, labor market and credit market. In section 3 we evaluate the different ways in which households have responded to these changes in their economic environment. We then assess individuals’ expectations regarding future conditions and behavior in section 4, and provide a brief summary in section 5.
The RAND survey module was designed by Mike Hurd and Susann Rohwedder. Detailed discussions of related and additional findings from this survey, as well as a number of follow-up surveys, are provided in Hurd and Rohwedder’s Effects of the Financial Crisis and Great Recession on American Households (NBER working paper 16407, 2010). 3 For further information about the Household Inflation Expectations Project, see Improving Survey Measures of Household Inflation Expectations (Bruine de Bruin, Potter, Rich, Topa and Van der Klaauw, 2010, Current Issues in Economics and Finance, Vol 16(7)).
2. The Nature and Prevalence of Financial Distress during the Recession a. The housing market Perhaps the most defining aspect of the 2007 recession, and by many considered to be the origin of the financial crisis, has been the decline in the housing market. As shown in Chart 1, since reaching a peak in April 2007, by the end of 2009 US house prices as measured by the FHFA home price index had fallen 13% nationwide. 4 This overall decrease masks considerable variation across states and metropolitan areas. For example, average prices dropped by respectively 39% and 38% from their peaks in California and Florida, while average home prices fell by 4% in Colorado and increased by 1% in Texas. The large increase in home prices up to 2007 (an increase of 44% from 2002 levels) and the decline since then implies that home value losses experienced by consumers depend greatly on when a home was purchased. Overall in nominal terms only for those who bought their homes in 2005 or later is the average value of their home currently lower than what they paid for it. As shown in chart 2, those who experienced the greatest losses in nominal terms were those who bought their homes in 2007. The average loss by the beginning of 2010 as measured by the FHFA home price index was a little over 10% for this group. Interestingly, the average self-reported change in house value for this group was only about 6% in the NYFed survey. This is consistent with earlier findings in the literature suggesting that individual perceptions of home price changes generally are more optimistic than suggested by official numbers. 5 An important consequence of the initial increase and subsequent fall in average house prices for households, not conveyed in Chart 2, is the dramatic fall in home equity. As shown in Chart 3, with the rise in home prices total equity of homeowners rose. However, it did so at a much lower rate with homeowner’s equity share in their homes actually staying relatively constant until the end of 2006. On average for each 1% increase in home prices, homeowners increased their mortgage debt by 1% (through higher balances on first mortgages, cash-out refinances, second mortgages and home equity lines of credit), so that proportionally their equity share in their homes actually remained constant. When home prices began to fall in 2007, owners’ equity in household real estate began to fall rapidly from almost $13.5 trillion in 1Q 2006 to a little under $5.3 trillion in 1Q 2009, a decline in total home equity of over 60%. At the end of 2009 owner’s equity was estimated at $6.3 trillion, still more than 50% below its 2006 peak.
Other indices, such as the CoreLogic HPI and S&P/Case-Shiller HPIs showed even larger average declines of up to 30% during this period. 5 Note that those individuals who bought their homes in 2009 perceived on average that their homes had increased in value by 6.5% at the end of 2009 (although the median reported change was 0%).
With the loss in home equity, a growing proportion of homeowners in fact lost all equity in their homes, finding the mortgage debt on their property to exceed its current market value. While the decline in house prices was accompanied by a small decline in the overall home ownership rate 6, the “effective homeownership rate” as defined in Haughwout et. al. (2010) as the proportion of individuals with a positive amount of home equity fell since 2007 by more than 7 percentage points (Chart 4) 7. Exposure to declines in housing values varied not only geographically, but also across different age and income groups. As shown in Table 1, ownership rates during the survey period (November 2009-January 2010) varied from 58% for those under 40, to 78% among those aged 40 to 55, and 84% for those older than 55. 8 Homeownership rates also increased monotonically with household income, with 50% of those with incomes under $30K owning a home, while 91% did so among those earning more than $75K. The home ownership rate among college graduates was 80%, while in what we refer to as the “bubble states”, the five states that experienced the largest housing booms and/or busts, the rate was 68%, slightly below the overall sample mean of 72%. 9 As shown in Table 1, the average and median perceived price declines during the year preceding the interview date varied little by age, education and income, but were considerably larger in the bubble states, in which prices during the past year were believed to have fallen on average by almost 10 percent. Similarly, the proportion of people who perceived the current value of their home to be lower than what they paid for it was 35% in the bubble states, whereas for the country as a whole it was 24%. The rate was also higher among homeowners under age 40 and those with incomes under $30,000, of whom a much higher proportion bought their homes after 2005. Reflecting a greater share of homeowners who have paid off their mortgages, the proportion of owners who have an outstanding balance on their mortgage is much lower amongst older individuals. Among homeowners with mortgages, at the end of 2009, 21% reported to be “underwater” at the time of the survey, with the fraction being the highest
After reaching a peak in 2004, by early 2010 the home ownership rate in the US had declined by almost 2 percentage points from around 69% to 67%. The decline was greatest among younger age groups, varying from 3% for those younger than 35, 4% for those aged 35-45, 3% for those ages 45-55, and a little over 1% for those over 65 (Census Bureau, Homeownership by age of householder, NSA). 7 The Ownership Gap (Haughwout, Peach and Tracy, 2010, Current Issues in Economics and Finance, Vol 16(5)) 8 All survey statistics (for NYFed and RAND samples) presented in this paper are calculated using sample weights based on population statistics calculated from the 2009 CPS March Supplement survey (see Appendix). 9 The ‘bubble states’ include Arizona, California, Florida, Michigan and Nevada.
among those under age 40 (31%) and those living in the bubble states (29%). 10 As shown in Table 2, these higher proportions of individuals who report to be under water on their mortgages partly reflect a greater share of homeowners who bought their homes after 2005. However, it also reflects how much equity was taken out by owners during the housing boom, with the proportion with negative equity being much larger among those with higher mortgage debt. Finally, the share of mortgage holders under water is much higher among investors, defined here as those with three or more first mortgages. This is consistent with ongoing research based on the FRBNY Consumer Credit Panel, showing that while historically lower, delinquency rates among this group has recently been much higher than that for non-investors. In summary, the direct impact of the housing crisis has been confined to home owners, who are on average somewhat older and have higher incomes than renters. Among owners, many saw considerable gains in housing wealth evaporate during the recession, with those who bought their homes after 2005 (on average younger and with lower incomes) and those living in one of the bubble states experiencing the largest nominal losses and most likely to currently be under water on their mortgage. Ultimately, the impact of the decline in the housing market on a specific household’s financial situation and behavior will depend on many factors, including where the house is located, when the house was bought, how it was financed, how much equity was extracted during the housing boom, the owner’s ability to make mortgage payments and on how long the household plans to live in the home.
b. The stock market In addition to significant losses in housing wealth during the 2007 recession, many households experienced considerable losses in their stock market wealth following the stock market crash in October 2008. As measured by the S&P 500 Index, after falling more than 45% between the end of 2007 and the beginning of 2009, the stock market has rebounded somewhat but stocks at the end of 2009 remained approximately 27% below their peak values (Chart 5). Not all households were directly affected by this drop in stock values, with exposure varying considerably across households. Based on the 2007 Survey of Consumer Finances, stock market participation rates as measured by the proportion of
A homeowner is defined to be underwater if they answered no to the question “If you sold your home today, would the proceeds be sufficient to pay off all mortgage loans and any costs of completing the sale?” The overall rate of 21% is comparable to that computed by First American CoreLogic, which reported that more than 11.3 million, or 24 percent, of all residential properties with mortgages were in negative equity at the end of the fourth quarter of 2009 (First American CoreLogic Q4 2009 Negative Equity Report,2010).
families holding stocks directly or indirectly (through mutual funds in pension accounts) increases monotonically with income from less than 14% for those in the bottom income quintile to 91% in the top decile (Table 3). A similar positive relationship with income is found for the average and median stock value held by stock market participants. The participation rate, as well as the median stock value held among participants has a bellshaped relationship with respect to the age of the household head. Reflecting a lower average income, stock market exposure was also much lower on average for renters. The same patterns exhibited by the 2007 Survey of Consumer Finances also show up in responses to the 2008 RAND survey shown in Table 4. In November 2008, 58% of households reported to directly or indirectly own stocks at a median value of $40,000. Approximately 90% of stockholders reported a loss in the overall value of their stocks since October 1, 2008, with 38% reporting losses over 30 percent. Both rates show very little variation across demographic groups. During a period in which on average the S&P 500 index fell by 24 percent, those reporting positive stock holdings reported a median 25% decline in stock value between Oct 1 2008 and the interview date in November 2008, corresponding to a median loss in value of $12,000. 11 Some 38% of stockholders reported losses of over 30 percent. While there was little variation in percentage losses across demographic groups, a percentage loss of 25% translates into very different dollar values, varying between $4,000 for stockholders under age 40 and those with lower incomes (incomes under $30,000), and $25,000 for stockholders over 55 and with high incomes (incomes over $75,000). The patterns for stock ownership found in the RAND survey are consistent with those for pension plan participation in the NYFed survey. Older individuals and higher income individuals are twice as likely (about 50% versus 25%) to report that they or their spouse currently are, or ever have been enrolled in a Defined Benefit pension plan. Similarly, 86 percent of individuals with household incomes over $75,000 report that they or their spouse currently are or ever have been enrolled in a Defined Contribution plan (such as a 401K, individual retirement account (IRA), tax deferred annuity or 403(b), 457 thrift savings plan), while only 38 percent reported so for individuals with incomes under $30,000. Across age groups we find an inverted-U pattern, with 56% of individuals under age 40 having such a pension plan, 78% of individuals between ages 40 and 55, and 65% of individuals older than 55 ever or currently participating in such a plan. Thus the decline in the stock market is most likely to have affected middle and older age individuals and those with higher household incomes.
Averaged over all the daily closings during November 2008, the S&P500 had fallen on average by 24% since October 1 2008.
c. The labor market Since the recession began, the unemployment rate increased by more than 5 percentage points to 10% at the end of 2009, while the proportion of those marginally attached to the labor force (which includes the unemployed as well as those involuntarily working part-time) increased from about 8% in 2007 to 17% at the end of 2009. As shown in Chart 6, during the past two years there also was a considerable fall in the average weekly hours of work. Not surprisingly, these patterns are reflected in the trends for personal income, calculated by the National Income and Product Accounts. As shown in Chart 7, between the end of 2007 and the end of 2009 per-capita real personal income fell by 3.8% with total compensation and wages falling respectively by 5.8% and 6.7% during this period. However, as also shown in the chart, per-capita disposable income remained relatively constant during this period, due to a drop in personal taxes. Not all households were equally affected by the decline in the labor market. As shown in Table 5, unemployment rates as reported in the NYFed survey at the end of 2009 varied considerably by age and geography with younger individuals and those living in the bubble states more likely to be unemployed at the time of the survey. 12 Not surprisingly, unemployment was also more prevalent in (and a cause of) lower income households. The same patterns are found for spousal unemployment -- 8% of respondents report a job loss by a spouse during the past 12 months. During the survey period, in 14% of households either the respondent was currently unemployed and/or had a spouse who had been laid off during the past year. In addition to losing jobs, significant proportions of respondents reported incurring a pay cut (15%), having to take unpaid furlough days off (7%), losing 401K matching (8%) and reductions in health benefits (14%) during the last 12 month. Home owners, individuals over age 55 and those with household incomes over $75,000 were less likely to report pay cuts or reductions in health benefits. As reported in Table 5, the combined impact of employment losses and wage cuts led to an overall average decrease in pre-tax household income of about 3.9% during 2009, with 19% of individuals reporting losses of 10% of income or higher. While all demographic groups suffered income losses during the past year, the losses were greatest among the 40-55 age group (average decline of 5.8%) and among individuals living in bubble states (4.7%).
The lower overall unemployment rate of 7% in the NYFed sample compared to a national rate closer to 10% at the end of 2009, may be due to a difference between what individuals believe constitutes being unemployed and how unemployment is officially measured. It may also reflect a lower survey response rate among the unemployed.
d. Credit markets During a recession in which most interest rates on personal loans fell, the most significant change in the credit markets was an overall decline in demand for and a tightening in the supply of credit. 13 As shown in Chart 8, reflecting an overall sharp decline in the average loan-to-value ratio of new mortgage loans, the proportion of all mortgage originations with loan/price ratios over 90% dropped steadily from 31% in the middle of 2007 to about 7% of new mortgages at the end of 2009. 14 At the same time the proportion of refinances involving a cash-out dropped dramatically from over 70% of refinances in early 2006 to 35% of refinances at the end of 2009. 15 Another striking change during the past year has been a decline in the number of loan accounts opened and a sharp increase in the number of accounts closed. As shown in Chart 9, the FRBNY Consumer Credit Panel indicates that about 319 million accounts were closed during 2009, while just 166 million were opened. Credit cards have been the primary source of these reductions: the number of open credit card accounts fell to 394 million by the end of December 2009, a decrease of 78 million (16.5%) from a year earlier and 20.5% from the peak in 2008Q2. Additional insight into the apparent tightening of credit and closing of accounts is provided in Table 6. During the survey period at the end of 2009, 57% of respondents perceived that it had become more difficult to obtain credit compared to a year earlier, while only 12% thought it had become easier. Little variation shows up in these responses across age and income groups. While 36% of respondents reported to have closed a credit card account during the past year at their own request, 13% reported to have had one of their credit card accounts closed by the bank or credit card company, with the proportion being highest among younger and lower-income respondents and among those living in one of the bubble states. 16
At the end of 2009, while average rates on credit cards were comparable to those at the end of 2007, interest rates on fixed rate 30-yr mortgage loans, 48-month new car loans and 24-month personal loans on average all had fallen by a little over one percentage point since the end of 2007. 14 After a gradual increase in the average loan-to-value ratio on all mortgage loans which came to a halt at the end of 2007, by the end of 2009 it had fallen back to 73.9%, a level not seen since early 2004 (FHFA). 15 During the same period, total cash-out dollars as a proportion of aggregate refinanced originations dropped from about 30% to 6% (FHFA). 16 Additional survey data collected by the FRBNY between December 2009 and January 2010 indicated that about twice as many credit card accounts were closed at the customer’s request than were closed at the banks’ initiative. Of all cards closed (at own request or not), 43% had a zero balance at the time of closing.
Finally, approximately equal proportions of respondents reported increases and decreases in the combined total credit limit on their combined credit cards. Decreases were more prevalent for the highest income group and those living in bubble states, while they were less prevalent among the lowest income group (for whom credit limits are likely to have been low to begin with). Increases in credit limits were instead more likely to be reported by those under age 40 and with incomes in the $30,000-$75,000 range.
e. Measures of Overall Distress The reported microeconomic evidence of considerable declines in housing and stock market wealth is consistent with the large drop in per-capita net worth calculated by the Flow of Funds Accounts and shown in Chart 10. Given the decline in net worth as well as the weak labor market, it is not surprising that since the middle of 2008 a majority of respondents in the Reuters/University of Michigan Survey of Consumers considered themselves to be worse off financially than a year earlier. During the past year only about 20% report that they (and their family) are better off financially than they were a year ago (Chart 11). When differentiating by age (not shown), we find these trends to apply equally to all age groups, except that overall ratings of changes in one’s personal financial situation are persistently somewhat higher (less negative) for younger and lower (more negative) for older individuals. As shown in Table 7, about 68% of consumers in the RAND survey reported in November 2008 that they had been affected “somewhat” or “a lot” by the crisis. The proportion of individuals who reported to have been affected a lot, was greatest among the 40 to 55 age group and among individuals living in one of the housing crisis states. In the November 2008 survey, a little under half of the respondents reported to be worse of financially relative to a year ago, with older and lower-income individuals more likely to report to be worse off than younger and higher income individuals. An alternative and arguably more objective measure of financial stress can be derived based on some of the RAND survey findings discussed earlier. In November 2008, about one third of all individuals reported at least one of three indicators of financial distress: self or spouse unemployed, have negative equity in their home, lost more than 30% of their retirement savings. While unemployment and negative home equity were more concentrated among younger individuals, large retirement savings losses were more common among those 40 years of age or older, and especially among the 40-55 age group. Comparing across income groups, we find that while unemployment was more frequently experienced by individuals in low-income families, negative equity and large retirement savings losses were instead much more common in higher-income households. The same is true when comparing those with and without college degrees.
Finally, while individuals living in the bubble states were equally likely to report large retirement savings losses as those in other states, they were much more likely to be unemployed and under water at the end of 2008. During the November 2009-January 2010 interview period, large proportions of respondents in the NYFed survey continued to report deteriorating personal financial conditions, with 36% reporting being worse off and only 13% reporting being better off than a year earlier. As in the end-of-2008 RAND survey, a larger fraction of individuals in the 40 to 55 age range reported worsening conditions. About a third of respondents reported to have experienced one of three types of financial distress: currently unemployed or have a spouse who lost his/her job during the past year, experienced a drop in household income over 10% compared to the previous year, or currently being underwater on their mortgage. The proportion reporting at least one of these types of distress is somewhat higher among those younger than 40 (39%) and with incomes in the $30,000 to $75,000 range (37%), and lowest among individuals over age 55 (23%) and with incomes above $75,000 (28%). All in all, the survey evidence indicates that while different segments of the population were affected in distinct ways, depending on whether they owned a home (and when they bought it and where it was located), whether they owned stocks and whether they had secure jobs, the crisis’ impact appears to have been widespread, affecting large shares of households across all age, income and education groups.
3. How did households respond to the changes in economic conditions? After investigating the nature and prevalence of deteriorating economic conditions during the 2007 recession, we focus next on how households responded to these changing conditions in their financial decision making. We first discuss changes in consumer spending behavior, followed by an analysis of changes in saving behavior. In examining how, at the individual household level, saving behavior may have changed, we consider the extent to which households changed their allocations to retirement accounts and how much they added or withdrew funds from other savings accounts. We also analyze in detail whether and how households reduced or increased their outstanding mortgage and non-mortgage debt.
a. Consumer Spending
After reaching a peak in the fourth quarter of 2007, ending a long period of steady growth, real personal consumption expenditures were down 3.1% by the second quarter of 2009 and remained 2.4% below the peak in the fourth quarter of 2009 (Chart 12). Between the end of 2007 and the second quarter of 2009, real personal expenditures on goods fell by 7.2% (with durable goods expenditures falling 9.9%), expenditures on services fell by only 1.0%, and expenditures on food and beverages purchased for offpremises consumption fell by 3.1%. 17 Chart 13 provides additional information regarding the sharp drop in spending that occurred during the last quarter of 2008 and the first quarter of 2009. Daily discretionary consumer spending as measured by the Gallup Daily poll dropped 40% during this period. 18 While consumer spending rebounded somewhat after the first quarter of 2009, at the end of 2009 it remained about 28% below 3Q 2008 levels. Over the past two-year period the average percentage change in daily discretionary spending has been very similar for lower and middle income individuals (defined by Gallup as incomes below $90,000) and high income individuals (incomes above $90,000). Evidence from the RAND and NYFed surveys is consistent with these findings. As shown in Table 8, as stock prices fell sharply, 75 percent of households reduced their monthly spending between October 1st 2008 and the interview date in November 2008, with a median cut reported of 20% or about $200. Spending cuts across demographic groups were similar, except that among individuals 55 years of age or older a somewhat smaller share reported reductions in spending, and on average reported smaller spending cuts. Percentage wise, cuts fell with household income, with those with incomes below $30,000 cutting spending by 25%, while those with incomes above $75,000 cutting spending by 15%. At the time of the NYFed survey (fielded between November 2009 and January 2010) a slightly higher proportion of individuals reported their current spending to be lower compared to a year ago (27%) than the proportion for whom it was higher (22%). On average households reported spending to be 2.2% lower at the end of 2009 than it was a year earlier, with those aged 40-55, with incomes under $30,000, and living in a bubble state reporting larger percentage cuts, while older and higher income individuals making smaller or no spending cuts (see Table 8). The median change in spending was 0%, which is broadly consistent with the relatively flat trend in personal consumer
Expenditures on goods, services and food at the end of 2009 remained, respectively 5.4%, 0.8% and 1.6% below their levels attained at the end of 2007 (Bureau of Economic Analysis, NIPA). 18 Discretionary spending in the Gallup poll is defined as the money spent or charged during the previous day on all types of purchases, such as at a store, restaurant, gas station, online or elsewhere, excluding purchases of a home, motor vehicle, or normal household bills.
expenditures that followed the large drop in spending at the end of 2008 shown earlier in Chart 12. Not surprisingly, spending cuts are strongly related to measures of financial distress. As shown in Table 9, the large majority of those unemployed at the end of 2009 reported cuts in spending during the year, with spending falling on average by more than 18% for this group. Similarly, those who reported household income losses of over 10% during 2009 and those who reported to be under water on their mortgage reported spending approximately 10% and 6% less on average compared to a year earlier, cuts much higher than the 2.2% average decline in spending during this period in our sample.
b. Saving The relatively stable level of per-capita disposable income shown earlier in Chart 7 combined with what appears to be a persistent drop in personal consumption expenditures has resulted in a significant and widely reported increase in personal saving and in the personal saving rate. As shown in Chart 14, the National Income and Products Accounts (NIPA) Personal Saving Rate as computed by the Bureau of Economic Analysis increased from historically low levels of around 1 percent in the first quarter of 2008 to recent levels over 6 percent. While the personal saving rate does not directly map into actual household saving 19, at the microeconomic level, an increase in household saving could manifest itself as an increase in allocations to retirement and savings accounts. Alternatively, it could exhibit itself as an increase in allocations used to reduce or pay off debt, where this could be mortgage debt or debt on other consumer loans, such as auto, student and credit card loans. In what follows we first present survey evidence on recent changes in allocations to retirement and other savings accounts. This is followed by an analysis of survey and administrative data on changes in consumer debt.
b1. Consumer Allocations to Retirement and Other Savings Accounts In the NYFed survey conducted during the November 2009-January 2010 period, we asked individuals whether they had made any changes to their retirement account contributions over the past year. As reported in Table 10, while 11% of all individuals increased their contributions and 3% started contributing to a retirement account (including Defined Contribution accounts and IRAs) for the first time, 12% decreased their contributions, 16% stopped contributing all together and 11% prematurely withdrew
For example, the NIPA measure includes income and outlays of non-profit organizations.
funds from their accounts. Those who increased their allocations did so by a median amount of $100 per month, while those who decreased their allocations did so by a median amount of $150 per month. 20 Not only did more individuals report reducing their contributions to retirement accounts than increasing their contributions, more individuals also report having withdrawn funds from other savings accounts (including checking, savings and money market accounts) than having added funds to them. The proportions of individuals who reported that they on net withdrew funds during the past year from their checking, savings and money market accounts exceeded the proportions of respondents who reported that on net they had added funds to each of these accounts. In contrast approximately equal proportions reported that they on net had added funds to their stock market accounts, as had withdrawn funds from stock market accounts. All together 25% of individuals said they had added more than they used up of their total other (nonretirement) savings during the past year, with a median net annual increase of $5,000. However, 38% reported that they actually used up more than they added, with a median reduction of $3,500. Our survey evidence therefore provides little support for the conjecture that households increased their saving by contributing more to their retirement and savings accounts. Some of the observed changes in allocations to retirement and savings accounts undoubtedly reflect normal life cycle patterns in saving behavior, with retired individuals stopping to contribute and beginning to draw down their savings and younger individuals starting to save or to increase their saving as they advance in their careers. Some of the differences in reported behaviors across age groups in Table 10 indeed seem to reflect such life cycle effects. However the changes reported in Table 10, and especially the large proportions of respondents who stopped contributing or who prematurely withdrew funds during 2009 are much higher than one would expect to see in a more typical year. The impact of the crisis is clearly reflected in the much higher proportion of lower-income households who stopped contributing or prematurely withdrew funds from their retirement accounts and the much lower proportion of households that increased contributions. These households were also much more likely to have used up more than they added to their other savings accounts. A higher proportion of higher-income
We also asked individuals for the overall percentage change in the total amount of money in their retirement and other savings accounts over the past year, after including all contributions and withdrawals during the year as well as changes in the value of funds already in their accounts. Overall respondents reported an average 3.2% decline in their total retirement account balances and an average 5.1% decline in balances of their other savings accounts. Given the slight increase in average stock and bond values during the period considered, this is consistent with an overall net withdrawal of funds from those accounts.
households instead increased their contributions to their retirement account and reported net additions to their other savings account.
More insight into this issue is provided in Table 11, which shows changes in allocations to retirement and other savings accounts for those unemployed at the end of 2009 and for those who experienced income losses over 10% during the past year. Between 90% and 100% of individuals belonging to these groups report decreasing or stopping their contributions or report prematurely withdrawing funds from their retirement account. A much higher share of these groups than in the rest of the sample also report to have used up funds from their other savings accounts. Among reasons provided, many respondents mentioned job, salary and household income changes as playing a role in their decisions to increase or decrease their net contributions to their retirement and other savings accounts (Table 12). Perhaps not surprisingly, among the reasons for increasing allocations, a desire to increase savings for retirement was the most important factor, with “good time to invest” also often listed as motivation. Precautionary savings motives were listed as significant factors as well, while bequest motives and a desire to make up losses in home and stock values were less frequently mentioned. Among those who decreased net contributions to their retirement accounts or who used up funds from other savings accounts, a need or desire to pay for general living expenses, pay bills and reduce debt were most frequently reported as motivations. In our survey we also asked respondents to rate the importance to their household of a set of alternative reasons for savings in general. The findings, reported in Table 13, show saving for retirement, precautionary savings motives and saving to pay for a child or grandchild’s education as the reasons most frequently listed as “very important”. Saving for retirement is more frequently mentioned by those in the middle and older age groups and those with household incomes over $75,000. Precautionary savings motives are generally more frequently mentioned by the 40-55 age groups and those with household incomes under $30,000. Saving to pay for the education of children or grand children or to buy a house or car is more frequently mentioned as an important reason for saving by younger individuals. Finally, in addition to measuring changes in net contributions, it is interesting to analyze whether individuals made changes to how new funds or existing funds in their retirement and savings accounts were allocated. As shown in Table 14, while approximately equal proportions increased and decreased the amount of new allocations used to buy stocks, a larger proportion of respondents rebalanced their stockholding by reducing their exposure to stocks in the first two months immediately following the stock
market crash in October 2008, with about 3% pulling all funds out of the stock market. Similarly, 18% of respondents in the end-of-2009 survey indicated that they moved some of their retirement savings to less risky investments. This survey evidence suggests that a non-negligible number of households appear to have shifted their allocations away from stocks, implying that not all consumers may have fully benefited from the recent rebound in the stock market.
b2. Recent Changes in Consumer Debt Before discussing our survey-based evidence on changes in consumer debt, we first describe recent findings based the FRBNY Consumer Credit Panel, a unique and comprehensive administrative database of credit report records for a large random sample of US individuals and households. As shown in Chart 15, after reaching a peak at the end of the third quarter of 2008, overall household debt has fallen steadily, declining by about $567 billion (4.5%) up to the end of December 2009. In order to relate the observed change in total consumer debt to the NIPA measure of savings, we first distinguish between mortgage debt (on first mortgages, second mortgages and home equity lines of credit (HELOCs)) and non-mortgage debt (on credit card loans, auto loans, student loans and other personal loans). Second, we exclude from the observed quarter-to-quarter changes in overall mortgage debt all changes in debt associated with home transactions. Third, in computing changes in mortgage and nonmortgage debt, we exclude amounts charged-off by banks. The resulting measure describes how much individuals on average are paying down or adding to their debts. 21 The trends in net changes in mortgage and non-mortgage debt, shown in Chart 16, reveal that until 2008 net pay-down on mortgage debt was actually negative: the increases in debt associated with cash-out refinances, second mortgages and HELOCs exceeded the total mortgage payments consumers were making to reduce mortgage principals. Since then, consumers have accelerated paying down mortgage debt and, in 2009, mortgage debt was reduced by 140 billion dollars. Similarly, in 2009 consumers on average started paying down their outstanding non-mortgage debt, even though by a much smaller amount. Differentiating by loan type, we find that while consumers were paying down auto loan debt, student loan debt instead has been growing rapidly.
For further explanation and details of this analysis see The financial Crisis at the Kitchen Table: Trends in Household Debt and Credit (Brown, Haughwout, Lee and van der Klaauw, 2010, Federal Reserve Bank of New York Staff Report, no. 480, December 2010).
The evidence from the NYFed survey shown in Table 15 is broadly consistent with recent trends in the FRBNY Consumer Credit Panel. A considerably larger proportion of respondents report decreasing rather than increasing their mortgage debt, with declines in mortgage debt reported most frequently among the 40-55 age and highincome groups. While most individuals who reduced mortgage debt reported doing so by making their scheduled mortgage payments, about 17% mentioned doing so in part by prepaying principal and 11% did so in part through a refinance. Prepaying and refinancing were more frequently reported by higher-income individuals and college graduates. These findings suggest that at least a substantial share of households who reduced their outstanding mortgage debt did so voluntarily. Interestingly, our survey results provide little evidence that households also reduced non-mortgage debt during the past year. While overall a slightly larger share of households reduced than increased such debt, on average debt increased by about $400 during the past year. Declines in non-mortgage debt were more likely to be reported by older individuals and those with household incomes above $75,000. The latter group of respondents actually reported reducing their non-mortgage debt on average by $2,000 during the past year. Overall this survey evidence is consistent with the findings presented earlier in Chart 16 of households paying down mortgage debt, but with little if any reductions in outstanding non-mortgage debt. Not surprisingly, individuals who were unemployed at the end of 2009 were less likely to report reductions in their mortgage debt and more likely to report increases (Table 16). They were also more likely to report increases in their non-mortgage debt, but a greater share of such individuals also reported decreases in non-mortgage debt. 22 Overall unemployed individuals reported adding to their non-mortgage debt by $2,300 on average. Similarly, respondents from households which experienced an income drop of more than 10% during the year, also were more likely to report increases in their mortgage and non-mortgage debt.
b3. Responses in Spending and Savings to Hypothetical Income Shocks To get an alternative view of household preferences and intentions for saving and spending, we asked respondents about their intended responses to a positive shock in their year-ahead income as well as a negative income shock, to account for a possible asymmetry in intended response behavior. Responses to both questions are shown in Table 17. Overall 99% of respondents say they would at least use part of the extra income
Unfortunately, we cannot evaluate with our data the extent to which the observed declines in mortgage and non-mortgage debt of individuals were due to lenders tightening standards and reducing limits on revolving credit lines during this period.
to save, invest or pay down debt, with 61% of all respondents saying that they would in fact use all the extra income for saving and/or for paying down debt. Only 1% of individuals say that they will spend or donate it all, with another 39% saying they would spend only some of the extra income. Aggregated across all individuals, on average 41% of the extra income would be used for saving/investing, 44% for debt payoff and only 15% for spending. Comparing across demographic groups, we find surprisingly little differences in the expected shares of income to be used for consumption. Faced with an unexpected income drop, respondents instead expect to respond mainly by reducing their spending. Overall, 53% of respondents expect to reduce spending by the full amount of the shortfall. Only 13% expect to take on some more debt to cover the shortfall while 41% expect to use some of their savings to cover the lost income. On average, individuals expect to cover about 74% of the income loss by cutting spending, 20% by using some of their savings, and 6% by borrowing. Care must be taken in interpreting stated intentions as actual future behavioral responses to realized income surprises. However, the findings appear to suggest that consumers will be unlikely to increase spending by much if their incomes were to increase by more than expected, while on the other hand they seem likely to cut spending quite drastically in response to an unexpected future income shortfall.
4. Households Expectations of Future Conditions and Behaviors In this section we analyze what households are expecting for the future. In the NYFed survey we asked a number of questions eliciting individuals’ expectations regarding a variety of outcomes and decisions, including their household’s income, spending, saving behavior and retirement plans. We first discuss individuals’ expectations reported at the end of 2009 about overall economic conditions during the following 12 months. As shown in Table 18, more respondents expect to see increases than decreases in the unemployment, loan interest and mortgage rate. However, a slightly higher share expect an increase rather than a decrease in the average house price at the national level, but on average expecting an increase of only 0.5% during 2010. Perhaps not surprisingly, expectations about overall economic conditions vary with experiences of financial distress. As shown in Table 19, those who are under water are more likely to expect higher unemployment, interest and mortgage rates. Expectations for those who are unemployed or those who reported household income losses of over 10% during 2009 do not depict the same pessimistic picture. In fact, expectations for this group tend to be more optimistic relative
to our sample. It is also notable that those who report to be underwater are more likely to expect home prices to rise in the future, and to expect a higher mean increase in home prices relative to the entire sample. Tables 20 and 21 report expectations about a number of personal outcomes and decisions. Considering first year-ahead expectations of household incomes, while there exists considerable heterogeneity in expectations across individuals, overall respondents are reasonably optimistic, expecting an average increase of 4.1% in their household income over the next 12 months. Expected increases are higher on average among younger and lower-income respondents, while older and higher-income respondents instead on average expect a small decline in their household incomes. 23 Expected increases are highest on average for financially distressed respondents, i.e., those who report to be unemployed at the end of 2009 and those who report to have lost over 10% of household income in 2009 (Table 21). This is consistent with them anticipating finding a job or experiencing an income rebound in the next 12 months. A similar pattern is found for wage expectations (asked of those who were employed at the time of the survey at the end of 2009), with workers expecting an average 3.4% increase in their wages. When asked whether they expect to make any changes to their retirement contributions over the next year, 13% report that they expect to increase their contributions, 4% expect to decrease contributions and the remainder expect to keep them unchanged. Older individuals, those with low incomes and those currently under water are less likely to expect to increase their retirement account allocations. About 29% expect to add more or to use up less of their other savings accounts during the next year, while 24% instead expect to add less or use up more of their other savings. Overall older and lower-income households plan to add less or use more of their other savings than their younger and more affluent counterparts. While over 80% of homeowners with a mortgage expect to pay down some of the principal on their mortgage loans, some 24% expect to pre-pay some of the principal. Low income individuals and those unemployed at the end of 2009 are least likely to expect to pay down some of the principle (64%) and least likely to expect to pre-pay some of the principal (15%). On the other hand, 6% of homeowners with mortgages expect to miss payments during the next year, with the rate being as much as 22% for those with incomes under $30,000 and 30% for those unemployed. Interestingly, the share of households expecting to miss a mortgage payment during the next year is actually smaller (1%) in the bubble states than in the nation as a whole. Finally, another
Clearly some of these responses reflect expectations of non-labor income, life cycle behavior (expected retirement) and rebounds in income by the unemployed expecting to find work.
6% of homeowners with mortgages are expecting to add an additional mortgage or a home equity line of credit. Considering non-mortgage debt we find that 66% of respondents expect to decrease their combined debt on credit cards, auto loans and student loans and only 4% expect to increase it. Plans to reduce such debt are slightly more prevalent among younger individuals and higher-income individuals, and are the highest amongst individuals who report to be under water on their mortgage. A greater share of households expect to increase their monthly spending over the next 12 months than to decrease it. On average household spending is expected to increase by 1.7%. Given an average expected increase in pre-tax household income of 4.1%, and assuming a similar increase in disposable income, this implies an average expected increase of 2.4% in saving or debt reduction. Closely tracking their expectations of household income increases, younger individuals, those with incomes under $30,000 and those who are under water expect the greatest increases in spending over the next 12 months. We also elicited expectations about future retirement, bequests and personal yearahead overall financial situation. As shown in Tables 22 and 23, 24% reported that they had postponed retirement, while 5% now plan to retire earlier. Plans to postpone retirement were most prevalent among workers over 55 and workers with higher household incomes. Perhaps not surprisingly given the loss of wealth experienced during the recession, more respondents report that the chance that they will leave an inheritance has fallen instead of increased during the past year, with declined chances more likely to be reported by for those who are financially distressed. Asked whether over the next 12 months they expect that it generally will become easier, harder or equally difficult to obtain credit or loans compared to the past 12 months, about twice as many respondents expect credit conditions to worsen: 39% expect credit to become more difficult to obtain (with the rate being as high as 59% for those under water), while 20% expect it to become easier. Finally, significantly more respondents expect to be financially better off than worse off 12 months from now. Comparing across age and income groups, we find that younger individuals are far more optimistic than older individuals, but find little differences across income groups. Individuals who are most financially distressed report the most optimistic expectations.
In this paper we first documented the extent to which households were affected by the declines in the housing, stock and labor markets as well as the heterogeneity in the impact of these declines across age, income, education groups and geographic areas. Next, we analyzed the nature of behavioral responses to the shocks in income and wealth, including changes in spending, contributions to retirement and savings accounts, and changes in household mortgage and non-mortgage debt. Finally, we assessed people’s expectations about a large set of behaviors and outcomes going forward, including their expectations about the labor and housing markets, access to credit, their future spending and saving behavior, and expectations for paying down debts. We found large differences across households in the extent to which they were affected by the recession, especially by income, age and geography. While considerable proportions of households were not directly affected by declines in the housing, stock and labor markets, a large share of households were affected by at least one of these. The proportion of households that suffered large declines in housing wealth and in retirement savings, and which experienced large income drops varied across demographic groups, but the proportion that experienced at least one of these was fairly evenly spread across groups. In response to their deteriorated financial situation, households reduced their average spending. At the same time, they increased their saving, with the personal saving rate as measured by the National Income and Product Accounts (NIPA) increasing considerably from historically low pre-recession levels. Survey data suggest that if there indeed was a recent increase in household saving, this increase – at least in 2009 – did not materialize itself through an increase in contributions to retirement and savings accounts. If anything, such contributions actually declined on average during the past year. Instead, the higher saving rate appears to reflect a considerable decline in household debt, mortgage debt in particular. This suggests that rebuilding net wealth was an important driver of household decisions. Unlike the period leading up to the current recession, during which the average mortgage debt pay-down rate was negative (increases in debt associated with second mortgages, cash-out refinances and home equity lines of credit, exceeded regular principal pay-downs on existing mortgages), since 2008 it has turned positive. Similarly, the steady annual increase in outstanding non-mortgage debt (also referred to as consumer debt) came to a halt in 2009. However, unlike mortgage debt, consumers made little headway in 2009 in actually lowering total non-mortgage debt, with some debt such as that associated with student loans continuing to grow steadily.
Regarding individuals’ expectations about the future, we find that individuals across all demographic groups had moderately optimistic expectations about income and earnings in 2010. At the end of 2009 consumers expected to increase spending in 2010 by less than perceived increases in earnings and income, and expected to pay down debt and increase savings, suggesting a shift in attitudes regarding saving and consumption. The implied moderate increase in saving during 2010 is in fact consistent with what we have observed so far in 2010. While consumers were moderately optimistic about their income prospects, they were pessimistic about the availability of credit, with access to credit expected to become even more difficult during 2010.
Appendix The RAND American Life Panel The survey data used in this paper were collected through two survey modules administered over the internet to participants in RAND’s American Life Panel (ALP). The ALP is an Internet panel of respondents 18 and over. Respondents in the panel either use their own computer to log on to the Internet or they were provided a small laptop or a Web TV, which allows them to access the Internet, using their television and a telephone line. The technology allows respondents who did not have previous Internet access or a computer to participate in the panel and furthermore use the Web TVs for browsing the Internet or use email. The first survey module we analyze, referred to in the paper as the RAND survey, was designed by Michael Hurd and Susann Rohwedder to evaluate the effects of the financial crisis. The survey was fielded from November 2008 to February 2009, with the vast majority of respondents completing the survey in November 2008. The NYFed survey on saving behavior was fielded between the end of October 2009 and January 2010, with the vast majority again responding in November 2009. Respondents were paid an incentive of about $20 per thirty minutes of interviewing. Although respondents were allowed to skip questions, those who tried to do so received a prompt encouraging them to provide an answer. Most of the participants in both ALP surveys were randomly selected among participants in the Reuters/University of Michigan Survey of Consumers at the University of Michigan's Survey Research Center. An additional group of respondents were recruited through a snowball sample, through referrals of friends and acquaintances. While all ALP members were invited to participate in the RAND survey on the effects of the financial crisis, the NYFed survey on saving behavior was restricted to a subset of newer ALP members - those who participated in the Michigan Survey after December 2006. A total of 900 ALP participants completed the NYFed survey, while 2057 members completed the RAND survey. Respondents in the NYFed survey reported an average age of 50.5, with a median of 51. In total, 58% were female, 66% were married or living with a partner, 52% had at least a Bachelor’s degree, 81% owned a home and 89% were white. 21% lived in one of the five states that experienced the greatest housing bubble and/or bust, which were Arizona, California, Florida, Michigan and Nevada. The median reported income range was $60,000-$75,000, with 43% of the respondents reporting incomes over $75,000. Respondents in the RAND survey reported an average age of 50.0, with a median of 51. In total, 57% were female, 65% were married or living with a partner, 45% had at least a bachelor’s degree, 78% owned a home and 90% were white. 22% lived in one of the five bubble/bust states. The median reported income range was $60,000-$75,000, with 37% of the respondents reporting incomes over $75,000. For a more detailed
description of the sample see Hurd and Rohwedder’s Effects of the Financial Crisis and Great Recession on American Households (NBER working paper 16407, 2010). In all the analyses reported in this paper, sample weights were applied to make the two samples representative of the U.S. population. The weights were computed to equate sample proportions to those in the 2009 Current Population Survey, for all population subgroups defined by homeownership, living in a ‘bubble state’, income under $30,000, age under 40, and having a college degree. The FRBNY Consumer Credit Panel Some of the analyses in this study are based on credit report data from the FRBNY Consumer Credit Panel. The panel comprises a nationally representative 5% random sample of US individuals with credit files, and all of the household members of those 5%. In all, the data set includes files on more than 15% of the adult population (aged 18 or older), or approximately 37 million individuals in each quarter from 1999 to the present. The underlying sampling approach ensures that the panel is dynamically updated in each quarter to reflect new entries into and exits out of the credit markets, with young individuals and immigrants entering the sample and deceased individuals and emigrants leaving the sample at the same rate as in the population of individuals with credit files. In each quarter, the records of all other household members who shared a primary individual’s mailing address were also included. Even though all individuals included in the database are anonymous, the panel allows one to track individuals and households consistently over time. In addition to the computation of nationally representative estimates of individual and household level debt and credit in each quarter, the panel therefore permits a rich analysis of the dynamics of consumer debt and related policy issues at both the individual and household levels. Since the FRBNY Consumer Credit Panel data are collected at the borrower level, they offer a more comprehensive perspective on mortgage debt than is available in standard loan-level datasets. In addition to detailed data on all debts secured by residential real estate, the panel includes information on individuals’ and households’ other loans, such as credit cards, auto loans and student loans. More general information available in the panel include the residential location of the borrower at the census block level, the individual’s year of birth, the individual’s credit experience such as foreclosure, bankruptcy and collection, as well as a consumer credit score that is comparable to the well known FICO score. More details regarding the sample design and data content can be found in Lee and van der Klaauw (2010). 24
Lee, D. and W. van der Klaauw, “An Introduction to the FRBNY Consumer Credit Panel”, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Staff Report 479, November 2010.
Table 1 Exposure to the housing market decline All Age <40 40-55 >55 Obs (unweighted) 899 244 315 340 % (unweighted) 27 35 38 % weighted 40 29 31 % own home HOME-OWNERS Aver [median] price change past year % home worth less than when bought % bought home after 2005 % has mortgage+ % under water* % under water+ % under water - all 72 58 78 84
Income <30K 171 10 29 50
30-75 352 39 36 71
>75K 376 42 35 91
College Bubble States 466 183 52 20 27 24 80 68
-5.3 [-2.4] 24 18 57 21 13 9
-5.2 [-4.0] 37 31 69 31 23 13
-5.6 [0.0] 19 13 60 18 12 9
-5.2 -5.4 [-2.2] [-4.0] 17 12 43 11 5 4 27 21 44 21 10 5
-6.1 [-2.4] 24 18 56 22 13 9
-4.7 [-2.0] 23 18 64 21 14 13
-4.8 [-2.3] 23 25 65 16 10 8
-9.8 [-7.7] 35 19 53 29 17 12
Source: NYFed survey. + among home owners *: among mortgage debt holders Home ownership based on question: Do you [(or your spouse/partner)] own a home? For the purposes of this survey a home is defined as a house, condo, apartment, mobile home, etc. (with or without a mortgage). ‘Under water’ is based on following question: If you sold your home today, would the proceeds be sufficient to pay off all mortgage loans and any costs of completing the sale? For those who own more than one home, data used were for most recently purchased home.
Table 2 Characteristics of mortgage debt holders % Mortgage holders above water who .. bought home after 2005 16 have mortgage debt <100K 58 have mortgage debt [100K,200K] 29 have mortgage debt >200K 13 own 1-2 homes own 3+ homes 98 2
% Mortgage holders under water who … 29 35 34 31 94 6
Source: NYFed survey. Mortgage debt based on question: Do you [(or your spouse/partner)] have any outstanding loans against the value of your home(s), including all mortgages, home equity loans and home equity lines of credit? If yes: Which category represents the total amount of current outstanding loans against your home(s)? [Less than $25,000, $25,000 to $49,999, $50,000 to $99,999, $100,000 to $149,999, $150,000 to $199,999, $200,000 to $299,999, $300,000 to $499,999, $500,000 to $799,999, $800,000 or more]
Table 3 Stock market participation in 2007 Families having stock holdings, direct or indirect All families Percentile of Income Less than 20 20-39.9 40-59.9 60-79.9 80-89.9 90-100 Age of Head (years) Less than 35 35-44 45-54 55-64 65-74 75 or more Housing Status Owner Renter 51.1 13.6 34.0 49.5 70.5 84.4 91.0 38.6 53.5 60.4 58.9 52.1 40.1 62.5 26.0
Median value among families with holdings (thousands of 2007 dollars) 35.0 6.5 8.8 17.7 34.1 62.0 219.0 7.0 26.0 45.0 78.0 57.0 41.0 41.2 8.6
Source: Survey of Consumer Finances 2007. See Changes in U.S. Family Finances from 2004 to 2007: Evidence of the Survey of Consumer Finances (Bucks, Kennickell, Mach and Moore, Federal Reserve Bulletin, vol. 95 (February 2009)).
Table 4: Changes in stock values and retirement savings All Age Income <40 40-55 >55 <30K 30-75 Nov08 % self/spouse is 58 47 66 64 27 59 stock owner % with stock value 52 40 59 58 24 50 loss since Oct 1 2008 % with more than 22 17 28 24 10 20 30% loss Stock owners median current stock value ($K) * median reported % change in value * median change in value since Oct 1 2008 ($K) *
College >75K 82 75 80 72
Bubble States 57 51
Home Owner 68 61
40 -25 -12
15 -24 -4
50 -25 -15
95 -22 -25
9 -20 -3
20 -20 -4
76 -26 -25
74 -25 -22
36 -25 -13
55 -25 -15
Retirement savings % with fall in 59 value of retirement savings ** Median percentage 22 decline amongst those with decline+ Median $K decline 9.5 amongst those reporting decline + Nov09-Jan10 % You/spouse currently/ever been enrolled in: DB pension plan DC pension plan or IRA Either
37 65 74
25 56 61
42 78 86
49 65 78
23 38 45
35 68 79
52 86 92
46 79 86
32 66 76
46 74 82
Source: Nov08 data from RAND survey. Nov09-Jan10 data from NYFed Survey. *: among stock holders **: proportion who answered yes to the question “Have the recent financial problems in the economy reduced the value of [your (and your spouse's partner's)] retirement savings?”
+: based on percentage and absolute amount responses to the question “Thinking of [your (and your [spouse's/partner's])] retirement savings (not including Social Security) how much have they lost in value as a result of the problems in the economy since October 1st, 2008?” RAND survey data based on following questions: In the next set of questions we will ask you about stock holdings [including those held by you and your spouse/partner jointly, by you only, or by your and your spouse/partner only]. Do [you (or your husband/wife/partner)] have any shares of stock or stock mutual funds? Please include stocks that [you (or your husband/wife/partner)] hold in an employer pension account. Thinking back to the time immediately before October 1st, 2008, that is, before the large drop in the stock markets, what were [your (and your spouse's/partner's)] stock holdings worth immediately before then? Please include the value of stocks that you hold directly and the value of stocks that [your (and your spouse's/partner's)] hold in an employer pension account. And what are [your (and your spouse's/partner's)] stock holdings worth now? NYFed survey data based on following questions: Please indicate whether you [(or your spouse/partner)] currently are or ever have been enrolled in each of the following types of pension plans: A Defined Benefit Plan, also known as a traditional employer-provided Pension Plan, which pays a fixed amount when you retire, where the amount typically depends on your final or average salary. A Defined Contribution Plan (such as a 401K, individual retirement account (IRA), tax deferred annuity or 403(b), 457 thrift savings plan) in which workers and/or their employers make contributions to an account in which money accumulates, and that money can be paid out in a variety of ways depending on the plan or worker's choice.
Table 5 Labor Market Experiences Reported at End of 2009 All Age Income <40 40-55 >55 <30K 30-75 >75K % Currently 7 unemployed % spouse lost 8 job % self or spouse 14 unemployed % Incurred pay cut % had to take furlough days % lost 401K matching % lost or had health benefits reduced Know friends/family who lost job Perceived HH pre-tax income change past yr: Up Down Same Mean % change % income loss over 10% 15 7 8 14 8 10 17 6 9 14 5 5 9 12 8 18 6 12 17 2 5 7
Bubble States 9 11 18
Home Owner 5 9 12
7 7 14
15 9 9 17
23 9 8 15
8 3 7 10
14 7 8 17
15 8 9 16
16 8 8 11
18 8 10 14
16 7 11 25
15 6 8 11
27 32 41 -3.9 19
32 32 36 -2.5 19
26 38 36 -5.8 22
22 27 51 -3.9 15
22 30 48 -5.7 19
26 36 38 -5.4 23
33 29 38 -0.8 13
33 29 38 -2.6 17
30 28 43 -4.7 16
25 34 41 -4.2 19
Source: NYFed survey. Based on following questions: During the past 12 months have you (for each answer Y/N): (1) Had a spouse/partner who lost a job, (2) Taken a cut in pay, (3) Lost or had your health benefits reduced, (4) Had to take furlough days off from work for which you were not paid, (5) Your employer stopped contributing to your 401(k) plan, (6) Known friends or family who lost their jobs? Was the total combined income of all members of your household during the last 12 months higher, lower or the same as the combined income during the previous 12 months? In percentage terms, by approximately how much was it higher/lower?
Table 6 Access to Credit All Age <40 Credit access vs. past yr % easier 12 11 % tougher 57 61 % same 30 28 Credit card accounts closed % closed by self 36 36 % closed by 13 16 bank Change in total credit limit % increase 20 28 % decrease 19 20 % stayed same 60 52
College 30-75 >75K
13 58 29
12 52 36
12 55 33
13 57 30
12 59 29
9 63 27
6 55 39
12 59 29
15 21 64
15 17 67
14 15 70
24 19 56
21 23 56
21 18 61
21 22 56
19 19 61
source: NYFed survey. Based on following questions: Do you believe it generally has been easier, harder or equally difficult to obtain credit or loans during the last year when compared to the year before? [Answer options: (1) Easier, (2) Harder, (3) Equally difficult] During the past 12 months, did you pay off and close any of your credit card accounts? (only include accounts that were closed at your request) During the past 12 months, were any of your credit card accounts closed by your bank or credit card company? (only include accounts that were not explicitly closed at your request) During the past 12 months, did the combined total credit limit (the maximum amount you are allowed to borrow on your cards) on all your credit cards that remained open increase, decrease or stay the same?
Table 7 Measures of Overall Financial Distress All Age Income <40 40-55 >55 <30K As of Nov 08* Affected by crisis?+ No 32 35 24 35 40 Yes, little 49 49 52 45 44 Yes, a lot 19 16 24 19 16 Personal fin. situation vs. yr ago Better 10 16 6 6 7 Same 45 48 41 45 46 Worse 45 36 53 49 47 % self or spouse 8 unemployed OR under water 13 OR lost >30% of 32 retirement savings As of Nov 09** Personal fin. situation vs. yr ago Better Same Worse % self or spouse unemployed OR drop household income>10% OR under water 13 18 31 7 12 36 5 7 27 13 17 24
College 30-75 >75K
32 49 19
25 53 22
25 54 21
24 51 25
31 50 19
12 42 46 8 13 30
12 47 42 5 10 39
14 42 45 4 8 34
10 44 46 12 18 37
10 45 46 7 13 35
13 51 36 14 27
16 51 32 17 29
13 47 40 14 29
10 55 36 9 21
11 46 43 18 28
12 50 37 17 33
17 56 28 7 18
17 48 35 14 25
10 52 37 18 29
13 51 36 12 26
*source: RAND survey. **source: NYFed survey. Based on following questions: from RAND survey: Over the past months there have been reports about the nation's financial problems including large drops in the stock market and in the housing market and increased rates of foreclosures and joblessness. As this financial crisis unfolds more and more people have been affected in different ways. Have you (or your husband/wife/partner) been affected by these problems? We are interested in how people are getting along financially these days. Would you say that you [(and your household)] are better off or worse off financially than you were a year ago?
The proportion of respondents with retirement savings losses over 30% is based on answers in the RAND survey to the question “Thinking of [your (and your [spouse's/partner's])] retirement savings (not including Social Security) how much have they lost in value as a result of the problems in the economy since October 1st, 2008?” In the RAND survey, the proportion under water is calculated based on the perceived current value of a house and the total amount owed on the house. In the NYFed survey the proportion under water represents households with a mortgage who answered no to the question “If you sold your home today, would the proceeds be sufficient to pay off all mortgage loans and any costs of completing the sale?”. In NYFed survey, the proportion with over 10% income drop represents the proportion of respondents who reported drops of over 10% in the total combined income of all members of your household during the last 12 months.
Table 8 Changes in Spending Behavior All Age <40 40-55 >55 As of Nov 08+ % cut spending 75 77 79 69 since Oct 1 08 Median amount 200 200 200 100 cut ($) Median % cut 20 20 20 15 As of Nov 09* hh spending vs. year ago Up Down Same Average % chg
Income <30K 76 100 25
College 30-75 >75K 77 200 20 72 200 15 71 250 15
Bubble States 75 200 20
Home Owner 75 200 20
22 27 52 -2.2
20 29 50 -2.0
18 33 49 -6.1
27 16 56 1.1
24 33 43 -4.2
22 25 53 -2.0
20 22 59 -0.8
25 23 52 -0.9
19 32 49 -4.6
22 27 51 -2.0
+source: RAND survey *source: NYFed survey Based on following question: The next questions are about your household's spending. Please include the spending of everyone who lives with you in your household, as well as your own. Consider household interest payments on mortgages, amount spent on rent, homeowner's or renter's insurance, vehicle taxes and repairs, home repairs, property taxes, utilities, food and groceries, clothing, housekeeping supplies and services, garden/yard services, health insurance, drugs, medical supplies and doctor/hospital visits, gasoline, personal care products and services, trips and vacations, hobbies and leisure equipment. Also include child support and alimony payments, gifts to anyone outside your household and losses from a farm, business or professional practice. Exclude money saved or invested, including real estate investments like home purchases. How does your current monthly household spending compare with your household's monthly spending a year ago? [Answer options: Higher now, About the same, Lower now] In percentage terms, by how much has your monthly household spending increased [decreased] compared to a year ago?
Table 9. Spending Behavior and Wealth and Income Losses All Unemployed Lost >10% Under income Water As of Nov 09* hh spending vs. year ago Up Down Same Average % chg
22 27 52 -2.2
5 60 35 -18.2
21 48 31 -9.6
18 47 35 -5.9
*source: NYFed survey. See notes to Table 8.
Table 10 Changes in Contributions to Retirement and other Savings Accounts Nov08-Nov09 All Age Income College Bubble Home <40 40-55 >55 <30K 30-75 >75 States Owner Change in retirement accnt contributions past 12 months % Increased contr 11 12 13 9 5 11 14 13 13 12 Median 100 100 45 300 25 75 150 150 100 100 Increase ($) % decreased contr 12 14 12 8 7 12 13 16 9 12 Median 150 150 160 200 150 100 200 200 150 150 Decrease ($) % Started contr 3 6 2 1 3 5 2 1 3 3 % Stopped contr 16 12 13 24 25 19 10 16 22 15 % Prematurely 11 7 13 14 14 17 5 7 12 10 withdrew Change in other savings (vs last yr) Checking accounts % added more – % withdrew more Savings accounts % added more – % withdrew more Money Market % added more – % withdrew more Stocks % added more – % withdrew more Net change in allocations to other saving accounts % added more than used up Median net Addition ($K) % used up more than added Median net withdrawal ($K)
25 5 38 3.5
27 2 32 2.0
26 5 40 3.5
22 6 44 6.0
13 0.6 44 2.0
21 2.5 46 3.0
41 5.0 25 6.0
36 6.5 36 6.0
28 5.0 35 3.0
29 5.0 37 5.0
Source: NYFed survey. Based on questions: During the past 12 months have you: (indicate Y/N for each) … (1) Started putting less of your money in 401(k), IRA or other retirement accounts?, (2) Started putting more of your money in 401(k), IRA or other retirement accounts?, (3) Stopped putting money in a 401(k), IRA or other retirement accounts?, (4) Started saving (for the first time) in a 401(k), IRA or other retirement account?, (5) Prematurely withdrawn money from your retirement savings? You indicated that you started putting more[less] of your money into your retirement account(s). By how much did you [(and your spouse/partner)] increase[decrease] your total monthly contribution to your retirement account(s)? Our next question asks about other savings and investments you may have, excluding those in a retirement account. We first want to know whether you made any contributions and/or withdrawals to your savings and investments over the past year. Please do not consider changes in the market value of the funds in these accounts, only consider the amounts of new money you added and the amounts you took out. For each of the following would you say that over the past 12 months you [(and your spouse/partner)] have withdrawn more from your investments or savings than you have added to them in new money, that you have added more to savings and investments than you withdrew, or neither? [checking accounts, saving accounts, money market accounts, stocks] Considering all accounts together, would you say that during the past 12 months you [(and your spouse/partner)] have used up more of your investments or savings than you have added to them in new money, that you have added more to savings and investments than you used up, or neither? Answer options: (1) Have used up more than added, (2) Have added more than used up, (3)Added about the same as used up. During the past 12 months, about how much more did you [(and your spouse/partner)] use up or withdraw from your investments or savings than you added to it? During the past 12 months, about how much more did you [(and your spouse/partner)] add to your investments or savings than you used or withdrew from it?
Table 11. Allocations to Savings Accounts and Wealth and Income Losses Change in retirement account contributions over past 12 months % increased contribution Median Increase ($) % decreased contribution Median Decrease ($) % started contributing % stopped contributing % prematurely withdrew Net change in allocations to other saving accounts % added more than used up Median net addition ($K) % used up more than added Median net withdrawal ($K)
Source: NYFed survey. See notes to Table 10.
Lost >10% income 6 150 27 150 2 29 19
Under Water 12 80 5 50 2 9 9
11 100 12 150 3 16 11
28 150 0 41 16
25 5.0 38 3.5
21 8.0 45 2.0
14 3.0 55 3.5
16 3.0 47 3.6
Table 12 Reasons provided for changing allocations to savings accounts (a) Reason for increase in contributions to retirement and other savings accounts – proportion who list option as moderately or very important Retirement Accounts Other Savings Accounts Job Change Salary Change Change in other income To increase savings for retirement Now is a good time to invest To be able to leave a bequest To make up for decline in value house To make up for loss in stocks/ investments To build cushion for future job loss To build cushion for future health expenses 27 53 29 92 75 23 19 33 NA NA 29 51 37 60 40 19 15 23 51 51
(b) Reason for decrease in contributions to retirement and other savings accounts – proportion who list option as moderately or very important Retirement Accounts Other Savings Accounts Job Change Salary Change Change in other income Involuntary job loss Voluntarily stopped working To pay down/pay debt To pay bills To pay for general living expenses 31 51 39 31 14 43 30 48 26 44 38 22 13 45 41 70
Source: NYFed survey. Panel (a) applies to those who responded that they reduced contributions or stopped contributing to their retirement account, while panel (b) applies to respondents who indicated that they had started putting money or had increased contributions into a retirement account. The proportions in the table are based on responses to the following questions: Please indicate how important each of the following was for the increase/decrease in your monthly contribution.… [options: very important, moderately important, not at all important, not applicable]. Please indicate how important each of the following was in your decision to withdraw some of your investments or savings [to add more to your investments or savings]… [options: very important, moderately important, not at all important, not applicable].
Table 13 Saving Motives All Age <40 40-55 Income <30K College 30-75 >75K Bubble States Home Owner
% reporting as very important Retirement/old 40 29 age Precautionary reasons Job loss 33 35 Illness 29 24 General 33 29 emergencies Bequest/Transfers Education of 38 52 (grand)children gifts to 9 6 children/family Charitable contr 11 8 To make large purchase house 17 23 car 15 22 Source: NYFed survey.
41 37 40
22 29 31
34 38 44
30 27 31
34 24 26
33 24 28
39 31 39
33 28 32
37 12 12
20 11 14
35 10 14
33 11 10
45 6 10
42 9 12
34 10 6
37 8 11
Based on following question: Now we would like to ask you some questions about your household's attitudes towards savings. People have different reasons for saving, even though they may not be saving all the time. For your household, please indicate how important you consider the following reasons for saving to be.
Table 14 Reallocations of savings Proportion among retirement account holders Between Oct08 - May 09* Allocations of new funds % Increased amounts to stocks % Decreased amounts to stocks Allocation of balances % Increased amounts to stocks % Decreased amounts to stocks % sold all stocks in retirement accounts Between end 2008 – end 2009+ Moved retirement savings into less risky investments
4.7% 5.1% 6.2% 15.5% 2.7%
*Source: Effects of the Recession on American Households, by Hurd and Rohwedder, Sept 2009, RAND. + Source: NYFed survey. Based on following question: During the past 12 months have you … moved your retirement savings into less risky investments? [Y/N]
Table 15 Changes in Household Debt end2008-end2009 All Age <40 40-55 Change over past year in: Mortgage debt % with increase Reason: Missed/Late Payments (%) Added HELOC/ 2nd mortgage (%) Refinance (%) % with decrease Reason: Paid down regular schedule Prepaid principal Refinance % stayed same+ % NA* Non-Mortgage Debt % with increase % with decrease % stayed same Average change ($1000s) Income <30K College 30-75 >75K Bubble States Home Owner
5 31 31 28 33 69 17 11 31 31
7 41 32 15 31 79 12 7 17 45
6 25 27 45 41 57 22 16 30 23
3 10 34 42 29 71 18 11 49 19
3 59 5 9 13 82 6 9 31 52
5 41 24 28 30 69 12 13 33 31
6 8 50 39 53 66 22 11 29 12
6 21 35 40 39 60 25 12 32 23
1 52 48 0 33 69 22 6 31 34
7 31 31 28 46 69 17 11 43 3
24 30 46 0.4
29 28 42 1.1
22 36 42 0.3
19 27 53 -0.4
22 24 53 1.6
30 28 42 1.7
19 37 43 -2.0
27 33 40 0.7
26 27 46 0.5
21 32 46 -0.4
source: NYFed survey. *: includes those not currently owning a home or who purchased a home within the past year. +: includes those who did not have a mortgage over the past 12 months. Based on following questions: During the past 12 months has the total amount you [(and your spouse/partner)] owe on these mortgages increased, decreased or stayed the same? If decreased or increased: What was the reason for this change in your overall mortgage balance? (Check all that apply) … (1) Paid down some of the principal on the regular schedule, (2) Pre-paid (ahead of schedule) some of the principal, (3) Refinanced, (4) Missed, or made late or incomplete payments and fees were added to the mortgage balance, (5) Added an additional mortgage or borrowed on a home equity line of credit. Next consider all outstanding debt you [(and your spouse/partner)] have, including balances on credit cards (including retail cards), auto loans, student loans as well as all other personal loans but excluding all mortgage debt. During the past 12 months has the total outstanding balance (that is the total amount you owe) of these loans combined increased, decreased or stayed the same? By how much has the overall combined balance on these debts increased/decreased during the past 12 months?
Table 16 Changes in Household Debt for Affected Subgroups Change over past year in: Mortgage debt % with increase % with decrease % stayed same+ % NA* Non-Mortgage Debt % with increase % with decrease % stayed same Average change ($1000s) 24 30 46 0.5 30 39 31 2.3 31 31 38 0.5 36 34 30 2.6 All Unemployed Lost >10% income Under Water
5 33 31 31
12 19 19 50
10 31 33 26
11 45 39 5
Source: NYF survey. *: includes those not currently owning a home or purchased a home within the past year. +: includes those who did not have a mortgage over the past 12 months. See notes to Table 15.
Table 17. Reported responses to hypothetical income shocks All Surprise 10% extra income next yr % save or invest all of it % spend or donate all % use all to pay down debt % spend some, save some % spend some, pay some debt % save some, pay some debt % spend some, save some, pay some debt Age <40 40-55 Income <30K College 30-75 >75K Bubble States Home Owner
22 1 26 16 7 13 16
20 0 31 12 7 14 17
19 0 26 15 6 13 21
28 1 18 23 7 13 11
22 0 29 17 8 13 12
19 1 25 16 5 11 23
26 1 23 15 7 15 12
22 1 21 16 6 15 21
22 1 19 19 4 16 19
20 1 27 18 7 14 14
% save/invest 41 % spend/donate 15 % pay debt 44 Surprise 10% less income next yr % cut spending by whole amt % cut savings by whole amt % increase debt by whole amt % cut spending and savings % cut spending, increase debt % cut savings, increase debt % cut spending, savings and increase debt
37 13 50
39 14 47
49 18 33
39 16 44
39 16 45
45 12 42
44 15 41
44 17 38
41 14 45
53 4 2 30 4 0 7
51 1 4 27 5 0 11
53 3 1 30 4 1 8
54 8 1 31 3 0 2
55 2 4 26 2 0 10
54 3 3 26 6 1 8
49 5 0 36 5 0 5
43 4 1 39 4 1 7
52 4 4 28 2 0 10
50 4 1 34 5 0 6
% cut savings % cut spending % increase debt
20 74 6
17 73 9
19 76 5
24 73 3
18 74 8
18 75 7
24 73 3
24 70 6
21 72 7
22 74 4
Source: NYFed survey Based on questions: Suppose next year you were to find your household with 10% more income than normal, what would you do with the extra income? Answer options: (1) Save or invest all of it, (2) Spend or donate all of it, (3) Use all of it to pay down debts, (4) Spend and save some, (5) Spend some and use part of it to pay down debts, (6) Save some and use part of it to pay down debts, (7) Spend some, save some and use some to pay down debts. For options (4) to (7) follow-up question: Please indicate what share of the extra income you would use to ... (Please note that the three proportions need to add up to 100%)… Save or invest, Spend or donate, Pay down debts. Now imagine that next year you were to find yourself with 10% less household income. What would you do? Answer options: (1) Cut spending by the whole amount, (2) Not cut spending at all, but cut my savings by the whole amount, (3) Not cut spending at all, but increase my debt by borrowing the whole amount, (4) Cut spending by some and cut savings by some, (5) Cut spending by some and increase debt by some, (6) Cut savings by some and increase debt by some, (7) Cut spending by some, cut savings by some and increase debt some. For options (4) to (7) follow-up question: Please indicate what share of the lost income you would cover by ... (Please note that the three proportions need to add up to 100%) .. Reduce spending, Reduce savings, Increase borrowing.
Table 18 Expectations of Macro Measures All % expect higher unemployment % expect lower unemployment % expect higher interest rate % expect lower interest rate % expect higher mortgage rate % expect lower mortgage rate % expect higher house prices % expect lower house prices Aver. expected % home price change 37 16 52 8 46 9 31 21 0.5 Age <40 40-55 27 48 16 50 11 39 12 33 23 0.8 15 47 10 45 9 29 26 0.2 Income <30K 45 15 52 14 42 11 26 30 0.2 College 30-75 >75K 35 33 15 54 8 49 9 34 19 1.0 18 50 5 46 7 34 16 0.4 33 23 53 7 53 7 37 14 1.0 Bubble States 39 16 53 10 38 9 32 21 1.3 Home Owner 37 14 54 6 48 7 32 19 0.6
>55 41 18 61 5 55 5 32 15 0.6
Source: NYFed survey Based on following questions: How about people out of work during the coming 12 months -- do you think that there will be more unemployment than now, about the same, or less? No one can say for sure, but what do you think will happen to interest rates for borrowing money during the next 12 months -- will they go up, stay the same, or go down? A year from now, do you think interest rates on home mortgages will be higher, lower or about the same as they are now? One year from now, do you think that the average house price at the national level will be higher, lower or about the same as today? In percentage terms, how much higher/lower on average do you expect the average house price to be at the national level a year from now?
Table 19 Expectations of Macro Measures for Affected Subgroups
Lost >10% income 30 18 49 10 51 8 38 17 1.6
Under Water 44 8 59 0 54 5 42 24 1.9
% expect higher unemployment % expect lower unemployment % expect higher interest rate % expect lower interest rate % expect higher mortgage rate % expect lower mortgage rate % expect higher house prices % expect lower house prices Aver. expected % home price change
37 16 52 8 46 9 31 21 0.5
30 26 34 5 28 15 19 20 -0.7
Source: NYFed survey See notes to Table 18.
Table 20 Expectations of Income, Saving, Debt and Spending All Household income % expect HH income higher % expect HH income lower Aver. expected % change in HH income Aver. expected % wage change+ Saving % expect to incr. retirement contributions % expect to decr. retirement contributions % expect to add more/use less of other savings % expect to add less/use more of other savings Debt % expect to pay down principal* % expect to prepay principal* % expect to miss mortg payments* % expect to add mortgage/heloc* % expect to decr. non-mortgage debt % expect to incr. non-mortgage debt Age <40 40-55 >55 Income <30K College Bubble States Home Owner
32 17 4.1
43 14 7.0
33 18 5.1
16 19 -0.8
30 14 8.6
40 12 6.0
25 23 -1.8
32 18 4.9
38 16 6.3
28 18 0.7
81 24 6 6 66
82 24 11 4 70
82 25 4 8 67
78 24 2 5 60
64 15 22 9 61
84 21 6 7 67
85 29 1 4 70
81 35 3 7 63
80 30 1 7 67
81 24 6 6 67
Spending Higher monthly spending Lower monthly spending Average change in monthly spending
29 16 1.7
28 16 2.6
24 18 0.6
35 13 1.7
39 15 4.9
25 16 0.5
24 17 0.2
26 16 1.1
28 14 1.4
28 15 1.4
Source: NYFed survey +: among those currently working *: among home owners with a mortgage or a HELOC. Based on following questions: During the next 12 months do you expect the total combined income of all members of your household to increase, decrease or stay the same? In percentage terms, by approximately how much do you expect it to increase/decrease? Suppose that, 12 months from now, you actually are working in the exact same [/main] job - at the same place you currently work, and working the exact same number of hours. Twelve months from now, do you expect your earnings on this job, before taxes and deductions, to have gone up, or gone down, or stayed where they are now? By about what percent do you expect that your earnings on this job, before taxes and other deductions, will have gone up[down], 12 months from now, in that case? Thinking now about the coming year, do you [(and your spouse/partner)] expect to make any changes to your contributions to your retirement account(s) during the next 12 months? Answer options: (1) Yes, expect to increase total contribution, (2) Yes, expect to decrease total contribution, (3) No, expect to keep total contribution the same. Thinking now about the coming year, do you [(and your spouse/partner)] expect to use up more, less or about the same amount of your savings and investments during the next 12 months than you did in the last year? OR Thinking now about the coming year, do you [(and your spouse/partner)] expect to add more, less or about the same amount of new money to your savings and investments during the next 12 months than you did in the last year? Thinking now about the coming year, do you [(and your spouse/partner)] ... (Check all that apply) (1) Expect to pay down some of the principal on the regular schedule, (2) Expect to pre-pay (ahead of schedule) some of the principal, (3) Expect to miss payments, (4) Expect to add an additional mortgage or borrow on a home equity line of credit, or (5) other [Please specify]. Thinking ahead, one year from now: How do you expect your monthly spending one year in the future to compare to your monthly spending today? In percentage terms, by how much do you expect your average monthly spending to increase [decrease]?
Table 21 Expectations of Income, Saving, Debt and Spending for Affected Subgroups All Household income % expect HH income higher % expect HH income lower Aver. expected % change in HH income Aver. expected % wage change+ Saving % expect to incr. retirement contributions % expect to decr. retirement contributions % expect to add more/use less of other savings % expect to add less/use more of other savings Debt % expect to pay down principal* % expect to prepay principal* % expect to miss mortg payments* % expect to add mortgage/heloc* % expect to decr. non-mortgage debt % expect to incr. non-mortgage debt Unemployed Lost >10% income Under Water
32 17 4.1
41 26 11.1
46 21 10.5
27 16 1.7
81 24 6
65 15 30
81 24 11
71 15 13
Spending Higher monthly spending Lower monthly spending Average change in monthly spending
29 16 1.7
30 24 1.9
25 28 -1.5
30 16 2.3
Source: NYFed survey See notes to Table 20.
Table 22 Expectations of Retirement, Bequests, Access to Credit and Financial Wellbeing All Retirement Prob of working FT at/after 62** Prob of working FT at/after 65** Expected retirement age* Plan to retire later* Plan to retire earlier* Inheritance Decreased chance of leaving bequest Increased chance of leaving bequest Credit access Credit easier Credit harder Overall financial situation Will be better off financially Will be worse off financially Age <40 40-55 >55 62 50 66 16 6 65 52 69 30 2 57 43 69 32 6 Income <30K 57 51 70 24 5 College Bubble States 66 52 67 29 2 52 44 64 29 5 Home Owner 64 50 68 25 5
30-75 >75K 63 49 67 20 4 65 51 66 27 5
62 50 67 24 5
Source: NYFed survey *: among those currently working **: among those with age 60 or younger Based on following questions: Thinking about work in general and not just your present job (if you currently work), what do you think is the percent chance that you will be working full-time after you reach age 62 ? Has the age at which you plan to retire changed since last year? [Answer options: (1) I now plan to retire sooner than I did last year, (2) no change in plans, (3) I now plan to retire later than I did last year.] In the past 12 months, have the chances of you [(and your spouse/partner)] leaving an inheritance increased, decreased or stayed the same? During the next 12 months, do you expect that it generally will become easier, harder or equally difficult to obtain credit or loans compared to the past 12 months? Now looking ahead - do you think that a year from now you [(and your household)] will be better off financially, or worse off, or just about the same as now?
Table 23 Expectations of Retirement, Bequests, Access to Credit and Financial Wellbeing for Affected Subgroups All Retirement Prob working FT at/after 62** Prob working FT at/after 65** Expected retirement age* Plan to retire later* Plan to retire earlier* Inheritance Decreased chance of leaving bequest Increased chance of leaving bequest Credit access Credit easier Credit harder Overall financial situation Will be better off financially Will be worse off financially Unemployed Lost >10% income 69 54 69 25 11 Under Water
62 50 67 24 5
64 55 NA NA NA
64 57 69 1 27
Source: NYFed survey See notes to Table 22.
1.FHFA Home Price Trends
FHFA Index FHFA Index
CO CA Nation
2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010
Note: FHFA HPI-purchase only (NSA), Quarterly
2. Self-Reported Home Value Change Since Time Bought
Total Home Price Change Total Home Price Change
30 25 20 15 10 5 0 -5 -10 -15
2003 2004 2005 2006
Year Bought Home
30 25 20 15
2007 2008 2009
Source: NYFed survey
Note: *FHFA Home Price Index - purchase only (NSA, Annual)
3. Trends in Owner’s Equity
Trillions of Dollars Percent
16 14 12 10 8 6 4 2 0
Equity Share - Owners' Equity as a percentage of household real estate (Right Axis) Owners' Equity in Household Real Estate (Left Axis)
2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010
4. Homeownership Rates
2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010
Source: U.S. Homeownership Rate (NSA), Census Bureau. Effective Homeownership Rate as in Haughwout, Peach and Tracy (2010)
5. S&P 500 Stock Market Trend
1800 1600 1400 1200 1000 800 600 400 200 0
2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010
1800 1600 1400 1200 1000 800 600 400 200 0
6. Unemployment Rate, Proportion Marginally Attached and Average Weekly Hours
18 16 14 12 10 8 6 4 2 0
Marginally attached (incl. involuntary PT) (left axis)
Unemployment rate (left axis)
2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010
7. Personal Income
Per Capita (2005 $) Per Capita (2005 $)
Real Disposable Personal Income
Source: BEA, SAAR, in 2005 dollars.
8.Consumer Credit - Mortgage LTVs and Cash-outs
Percent 90 Percent 90
80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0
2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010
New Home Mortgages with LTV Ratio over 90% Share of New Refinances with Cash-out
80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0
9. Total Number of New and Closed Accounts
400 350 300 250 200 150 100 50 0
2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010
Source: FRBNY Consumer Credit Panel Number of Accounts closed within 12 Months Number of Accounts Opened within 12 Months
400 350 300 250 200 150 100 50 0
10. Net Worth (Per Capita)
Thousands of Dollars Thousands of Dollars
2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010
Source: Flow of Funds, NSA, current dollars.
11. Perceived decline in financial situation (% worse off compared to year ago)
70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0
2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010
Worse off Better off
70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0
Source: Reuters/University of Michigan Survey of Consumers
12. Spending per Capita
Thousands of 2005 Dollars (SA) Thousands of 2005 Dollars (SA)
Personal Consumption Expenditures
2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010
Source: BEA (NIPA)
13. Daily Discretionary Consumer Spending
All Middle and Lower Question: "Next, we'd like you to think about your spending yesterday, not Income counting the purchase of a home, motor vehicle, or your normal household
bills. How much money did you spend or charge yesterday on all types of purchases you may have made, such as at a store, restaurant, gas station, online or elsewhere?"
Source: Gallup Poll
Note: High Income = income over $90K
14. Personal Saving Rate
Percent Personal Saving as % of Disposable Personal Income Percent
8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0
2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010
Source: BEA (NIPA)
8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0
Note: Personal Savings Rate: Personal Savings/Disposable Personal Income
15. Total Debt Balance and its Composition
Trillions of Dollars 15
Non-mortgage Mortgage 12.0 11.0 10.2 11.3 2.5 2.3 12.4 12.5 12.3 12.1 11.9
Trillions of Dollars
8.7 8.2 6.8 7.1 7.5
9.7 9.1 10.0
0 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010
Source: FRBNY Consumer Credit Panel
16. Changes in Household Debt Available for Spending (annual) Billions of Dollars Billions of Dollars
-200 2000 2001 2002 2003 Source: FRBNY Consumer Credit Panel
-200 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009
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