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In One Chart: U.S. consumer debt is now above levels hit during the 2008 financial crisis

Consumer debt is growing to worrisome levels.

Ben Mohr, senior research analyst of fixed income at investment consultant Marquette Associates, calculated that total U.S. consumer debt hit $14 trillion in the first quarter of 2019, surpassing the roughly $13 trillion of leverage accumulated in credit cards, auto loans and mortgages and other debt back in 2008, when those souring loans and securities pegged to them helped to send global markets into a tailspin (see attached chart).

Mohr told MarketWatch that the increase in student loans — often cited as a source of consternation for economists and strategists — saw a notable increase.

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