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After the refinancing boom: will consumers scale back their spending?
Concerns are rising that the recent surge in home equity withdrawal has left consumers in a weakened financial position that will, over time, prompt a retrenchment in spending. However, a look at household assets and liabilities suggests that consumers have used the withdrawn funds to restructure their balance sheets and reduce their debt service burden. As a result, households may be in a better position to spend in the years ahead.