Household Debt Highest Since Eighties Boom

Swedish household debt levels rose last year to levels not seen since the the major housing boom of the 1980s.

The national statistics office reports that total household debt at the end of 2005 was 1.8 trillion crowns, that’s 257.7 million US dollars, or a ratio of debt to disposable income of 135 percent, up from 125 percent in 2004, equivalent to the end of the 80s.

”There has been a continuous rise of the debt ratio in the last few years and the level in 2005 was the same as the peak at the end of the 1980s,” the office said in a statement.

The 1980s was a time of high inflation, deregulation and a real estate boom which ended in a crash at the start of the start of the 1990s and a banking crisis.

The central bank, which targets 2 percent inflation, has said it expects further gradual rates rises to make sure the rate of price rises hits the goal in two years.

It has also said it is keeping a close eye on the real economy, such as rising house prices, as it wants to avoid the market heating up too much, leading to a possible sharp fall.

The statistics office also said that of the 1.8 trillion total debt level, 1.1 billion was on loans to buy property.