With $3 trillion in student and auto loan debt, Millennials have the most debt of any generation in the U.S., right?
It may shock you to hear that Baby Boomers were actually more in-debt percentage-wise when they were the age of current Millennials. And as Hedgeye Senior Macro Analyst Darius Dale said on The Macro Show – that $3 trillion needs some context.
“Baby Boomers are the largest consumption cohort in the history of the world in terms of what they spent and they made,” Dale says in the video above. “The one thing you have to keep in mind in terms of debt is that the economy is always growing on a nominal basis. Three trillion sounds cool to say out loud and is really scary and ominous - but it actually doesn’t matter.”
What does matter, Dale says, is the rate of debt growth relative to a person’s, or generation's, ability to service that debt. And keep in mind, for the broader U.S. consumer, the rate of change in new debt has actually been negative throughout this economic cycle. Dale adds that debt is simply not piling up like it was heading into the Great Recession of 2007-2008.
Macro analyst Ben Ryan sums up the key takeaway for investors in the video above, “If output growth is growing faster than debt growth, you can service that debt."