Report: U.S. Household Wealth Marks New High
A surging stock market and a steady recovery in home prices drove Americans’ wealth to a record last summer.
The Associated Press reported that the nation’s wealth rose 2.6% from July through September to $77.3 trillion, the Federal Reserve said Monday. Household wealth has been rising gradually since bottoming at $57.2 trillion in 2008. Early this year, America finally regained all the wealth it had lost to the Great Recession.
Rising personal wealth has been a pillar of the slow but steady U.S. economic recovery and could continue to boost the economy next year. When Americans feel richer, they typically spend more and fuel economic growth.
Household wealth, or net worth, reflects the value of homes, stocks, bank accounts and other assets minus mortgages, credit cards and other debts.
From July through September, rising stock prices boosted Americans’ net worth by $917 billion. Higher home values added $428 billion more.
The Fed’s figures don’t go beyond September. But stock prices have continued to rise since last quarter ended, which means household wealth has, too. Since Oct. 1, the Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index has risen nearly 8%. Home prices in many areas have continued to rise, though more slowly than they did earlier in the year.
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