Debt rises after a recession, primarily (7)
I believe the answer is:
Here is my best explanation:
'debt' is the definition.
(I've seen this before)
'rises after a recession primarily' is the subsidiary indication.
'rises' becomes 'rears' (rearing is a kind of rising**).
'after' says to put letters next to each other.
'primarily' indicates taking the first letters.
The initial letter of 'recession' is 'r'.
'rears' put after 'ar' is 'arrears'.
(Other definitions for arrears that I've seen before include "Amount unpaid", "Debt", "Money still owed", "Outstanding payments", "They're outstanding", "Outstanding money", "State of being behind with payments", "Total unpaid debt", "If in these, the money is overdue" and "Overdue debt".)