In recent months, many economists and lawmakers have frequently touted how the nation’s economy is performing really well. Often citing historically low unemployment rates, I’ve always felt that such pronouncements failed to consider the untold millions of Americans who are eking out a living on low or no raises, or others who work multiple jobs trying to piece together a living for their families.
But new data from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, offers hard evidence that a key sector of the economy is showing signs of distress: auto loans. At the end of 2018, 7 million consumers were three months behind on their car payments, according to the Fed’s Liberty Street Economics.
Addressing its finding of multi-million auto loan delinquencies, the Fed wrote, “That is more than a million more troubled borrowers than there had been at the end of 2010 when the overall delinquency rates were at their worst since auto loans are now more prevalent.”