Looking at household debt service as a percent of disposable personal income. Wondering how income affects the data, how debt affects it, and how saving affects it.
At FRED, the debt service number is given as "percent of disposable personal income". I figured saving the same way, and put the two together on a graph:
|Graph #1: Debt Service (blue) and Household Saving (red) relative to DPI|
So then I took and put a minus sign in front of the formula for the red line, to turn it upside down:
|Graph #2: Debt Service (blue) and Saving with a Minus Sign (red)|
I thought about adding consumer debt (relative to disposable personal income) to the calculation of the red line. And then I remembered seeing those formulas that add two terms together after assigning a weight to each. And I said Yeah I can do that.
Ended up using "change in household debt" relative to DPI. And I just guessed some weights until I got something that looked somewhat like the debt service line. And I added a constant to push the red line up closer to the blue. Here is the result:
|Graph #3: Using Savings and Household Debt to Reverse Engineer the Debt Service Ratio|
The red line is very jiggy compared to the blue. But I expect I can smooth it out by using a Hodrick-Prescott calculation on it. Now I'm picturing a red line that looks even more like the blue, except everything happens about two years early. So I can lag the red line about two years to make the lines more similar.
What that means is I'll get a peek into the future. My most recent data, from Q1 2016, will show up as a prediction of debt service for 2018! Now it's getting interesting.
I have to bring the data from FRED to Excel to do the lagging and the Hodrick-Prescott. I got all the data, which will let me calculate a number back to 1952 instead of 1980. I love this stuff.
Long story short, I figured the Hodrick-Prescott, tweaked the "weight" values a bit (by eye), and lagged my calculated numbers 8 quarters. Here's the result, back to 1980:
|Graph #4: Not Perfect, but Not Bad!|
But look at that big drop after 2008 Q1. At the peak the red line is a perfect match to the blue. At the bottom, by 2012, the lines have crossed. The economy slowed down during the big drop. I would need a longer lag there at the bottom, to push the red line more to the right.
But the most interesting thing on this graph, I think, is that it makes a prediction about the path the debt service ratio will take. It's going to go up. The blue line, like the red, is going to go up.
// The Excel file