Recent Developments RSS Data Download

The recent developments discussed below refer to data through December 31, 2023.

  • Household net worth increased $4.8 trillion in the fourth quarter, primarily driven by strong gains on corporate equity.
  • Household debt increased at an annual rate of 2.4% in the fourth quarter, reflecting moderate growth in both mortgage debt and nonmortgage consumer credit.
  • Nonfinancial business debt growth slowed to a 0.8% pace in the fourth quarter amid modest net issuance of debt securities and weaker growth in loans.
  • The debt growth of both households and businesses slowed markedly in 2023 as a whole. Household debt expanded by 2.7% in 2023, down from its average pace of near 7 percent growth over the previous two years. Nonfinancial business debt growth slowed to 2.2%, which is the lowest annual growth rate recorded for the sector since 2010.

Household Net Worth

The net worth of households and nonprofit organizations increased by $4.8 trillion to $156.2 trillion in the fourth quarter. The change in household net worth was primarily driven by an increase in the value of directly and indirectly held corporate equity, which rose by $4.7 trillion in the fourth quarter. Meanwhile, the value of real estate on the household balance sheet fell by $0.4 trillion.

Directly and indirectly held corporate equities ($47.5 trillion) and household real estate ($44.8 trillion) remain the largest components of household net worth. Household debt (seasonally adjusted) was $20.0 trillion.

Household Balance Sheet Summary
Trillions of dollars
Description 2022 2023 2023:Q1 2023:Q2 2023:Q3 2023:Q4
Net Worth 144.63 156.21 147.52 152.78 151.38 156.21
Change in Net Worth -5.60 11.59 2.89 5.26 -1.40 4.84
Equities 39.70 47.55 42.00 44.55 42.85 47.55
Change in Equities -9.34 7.85 2.31 2.55 -1.70 4.70
Real Estate 42.59 44.84 42.54 44.70 45.21 44.84
Change in Real Estate 3.69 2.25 -0.05 2.16 0.51 -0.37

For more data on household net worth, see table B.101

Nonfinancial debt

Household debt grew by 2.4% in the fourth quarter of 2023, edging down from its average pace for the first three quarters of the year and down noticeably from the pace recorded in 2021 and 2022 (this and subsequent rates of growth are reported at a seasonally adjusted annual rate). Home mortgage debt expanded by 2.1% while nonmortgage consumer credit grew by 3.3%. Consumer credit growth, which was moderated by student loan forgiveness in the third quarter, bounced back somewhat in the fourth quarter.

Nonfinancial business debt growth continued to slow in the fourth quarter and remains significantly below the pace posted over the past few years. Nonfinancial business debt grew at a 0.8% pace in the fourth quarter, down from 1.4% in the previous quarter, reflecting modest net issuance of debt securities and weaker growth in loans.

Overall, domestic nonfinancial debt grew at an annual rate of 4.8% in the fourth quarter, boosted by robust expansion of federal government debt amid the relatively tepid debt growth of households and nonfinancial businesses. Federal government debt increased at a 10.0% pace, while state and local government debt contracted by 1.1%.

The ratio of nonfinancial debt outstanding to GDP declined slightly in the fourth quarter. The ratio has declined substantially since it spiked amid pandemic-related factors in the second quarter of 2020 but remains slightly above the level that prevailed in the years just before the pandemic.

For more data on nonfinancial debt, see table D.1 (rates of growth) and table D.3 (outstanding).

Debt Growth by Sector
Percent change, seasonally adjusted annual rate
Description 2022 2023 2023:Q1 2023:Q2 2023:Q3 2023:Q4
Total Nonfinancial 5.70 5.16 3.79 6.29 5.38 4.79
Households and Nonprofits 6.29 2.73 2.44 2.75 3.16 2.44
Nonfinancial Business 5.81 2.18 4.61 1.86 1.39 0.82
Federal Government 6.11 9.76 4.45 12.67 10.60 10.01
State and Local Governments -1.57 0.66 1.22 2.80 -0.31 -1.08
Debt Outstanding by Sector
Trillions of dollars, seasonally adjusted
Description 2022 2023 2023:Q1 2023:Q2 2023:Q3 2023:Q4
Total Nonfinancial 70.28 73.81 70.94 72.06 73.02 73.81
Households and Nonprofits 19.43 19.96 19.55 19.68 19.83 19.96
Nonfinancial Business 20.76 21.13 21.00 21.10 21.17 21.13
Federal Government 26.85 29.47 27.15 28.01 28.75 29.47
State and Local Governments 3.23 3.25 3.24 3.27 3.26 3.25

Looking at the components of nonfinancial business debt, corporate bonds increased by about $18 billion in the fourth quarter while mortgage loans increased by $48 billion. Nonmortgage loans at depository institutions increased by about $13 billion, while other nonbank nonmortgage loans decreased by $15 billion in the fourth quarter.

Overall, outstanding nonfinancial corporate debt was $13.6 trillion. Corporate bonds, at roughly $7.4 trillion, accounted for 54% of the total. Nonmortgage depository loans were about $1.5 trillion. Other types of debt include loans from nonbank financial institutions, loans from the federal government, industrial revenue bonds, and commercial paper.

The nonfinancial noncorporate business sector consists mostly of smaller businesses, which are typically not incorporated. Nonfinancial noncorporate business debt was $7.5 trillion in the fourth quarter. Mortgage loans, at roughly $5.4 trillion, accounted for about 72% of the total, while nonmortgage depository loans ($1.6 trillion) accounted for most of the remainder.

For more data on nonfinancial business balance sheets, including debt, see tables B.103 and B.104.

Coming soon

  • Enhanced Financial Accounts Projects ( will be updated on Friday, March 22, 2024, including the Distributional Financial Accounts, which provide a quarterly estimate of the distribution of U.S. household wealth.
  • Financial Accounts data for the first quarter of 2024 will be published on Friday, June 7, 2024, at 12:00 noon.

Chart Notes

  1. Changes in net worth consist of transactions, revaluations, and other volume changes. Corporate equity and debt securities include directly and indirectly held securities. Real estate is the value of owner-occupied real estate. Other includes equity in noncorporate businesses, consumer durable goods, fixed assets of nonprofit organizations, and all other financial assets apart from corporate equities and debt securities, net of liabilities, as shown on table B.101 Balance Sheet of Households and Nonprofit Organizations.


Last Update: March 7, 2024