Interesting. The UK still has much higher household leverage than the US, according to this.

Hat tip: Felix Salmon

UPDATE: An ex-colleague sends through a couple more interesting comparisons:

Why has the UK done so much better on these measures? I suspect the main reasons are:
  1. Falling mortgage rates, combined with fewer people on fixed-rate mortgages.
  2. Falling energy prices, combined with more expensive petrol (so falling prices have a bigger effect).

  3. Stimulus through a VAT cut (I thought this would not be effective, but the facts are against me).

All three of these effects are coming to an end. Mortgage rates have likely stopped falling, petrol is expensive again, and VAT is going back up. This is all negative for UK retail sales and the housing market, and thus for the economy and unemployment.