Household debt

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Last updated: 30 May 2017

Fig 1 — Household debt

Key graph: household debt

In the 20 years to 2011, total housing and consumer loan debt increased around six-fold in dollar terms. As a ratio of household disposable income, the percentage at June 2011 of 147% is about two and a half times that of 58% at March 1991. Through the mid-2000s, household debt grew strongly, at an average annual rate of over 14% in the five years to June 2007. The rate of growth slowed sharply from 2007, averaging well under 4% per annum in the four years to June 2011. This deceleration in the rate of growth of household debt arrested the growth in the debt to income ratio from 2007.

Notes on data

  • The data is quarterly, averages for the quarter for interest rates and end of quarter for household debt.
  • Data is updated in the second month after the quarter for interest rate and debt values. Household disposable income is revised once a year on publication of December debt data. A comprehensive annual survey of all loans to households is conducted at December.
  • Using Statistics New Zealand’s household income and outlay account for the year to the previous March, the Bank adds back to disposable income fixed capital consumption and household interest paid. The latest March year estimate is using the growth earnings over the quarter, published in Statistics New Zealand’s Quarterly Employment Survey.