UK Consumer Debt Outstrips GDP for First Time

14 February 2006

    LONDON - Britain passed a sorry economic milestone last month when total consumer debt outstripped the nation's gross domestic product.
    The event follows a similarly unpalatable landmark in the summer of 2004 when consumer debt surpassed £1 trillion ($1.75tr; €1.46tr).
    Figures from the Bank of England show the combined amount owed by non-commercial borrowers rose by 10.2% to £1,158 billion in 2005 - over £30bn more than the £1,127bn in economic output generated by the UK the same year.
    Simon Rubinsohn, chief economist at Gerrard, warned this was an "economic iceberg" which could threaten UK growth.