Chart 4: Debt Outstanding Has Grown Faster at Large Companies than at Small Companies Since the Late 1980s
Data Source: Federal Reserve Board Flow of Funds (Haver Analytics)
Left Scale: Index of Credit Market Debt Outstanding, 1991:Q4 = 100 (scale = 0 to 225)
The time series shows quarterly data from 1980 to the third quarter of 2001 on the horizontal axis.
The dotted line represents nonfarm noncorporate buiness ("small companies"). This line rises from a level of 35 in the first quarter of 1980 to a peak of 104 in the second quarter of 1990. Then the line falls to approximately 95 in 1993 and 1994, after which the line rises to 166 in the third quarter of 2001.
The solid line represents nonfarm nonfinancial corporate business ("large companies"). This line begins to rise from a level of 35 in the first quarter of 1980, leveling off at approximately 100 from 1990 to 1992. The line then begins to rise at a more rapid rate than that of small companies, reaching 201 in the third quarter of 2001.