Fed's Stern plays down consumer debt fears

US consumers are in good financial shape, top Fed official Gary Stern said, rejecting fears that high levels of household debt are unsustainable.

"I personally think concern about consumer debt is exaggerated in many quarters," Minneapolis Federal Reserve President Gary Stern said, noting that household net worth is at an "all-time high."

"Overall, on average, consumers are in pretty good financial shape," Stern said in response to questions before a gathering of risk managers.

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