Fed Report Says Stocks, Homes Values Helped Total Household Net Worth Rise

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12/07/2017 | 06:32 pm

By Harriet Torry

The total net worth of U.S. households climbed further into record territory in the third quarter of 2017, reaching $96.939 trillion as stock markets and property prices boosted Americans' wealth.

The increase on the quarter was $1.742 trillion, according to the data the Federal Reserve released Thursday. That was a larger gain than the $1.276 trillion advance in the second quarter of this year.

Household wealth in the stock market climbed by $1.1 trillion in the quarter, reflecting rising equity valuations last quarter amid solid business and consumer confidence and a strong labor market.

The value of households' real estate increased by about $411 billion, reflecting ongoing higher home prices. The data on household net worth include assets held by nonprofits, although nonprofits make up a relatively small proportion of household wealth.

The sum Americans held in savings accounts increased by about $83.5 billion in the quarter. Household debts increased by $177.4 billion in the quarter.

The figures are from a quarterly Fed report, known as the Flow of Funds, which tracks the aggregate wealth of all U.S. households and nonprofit organizations.

Federal government debt increased 10.3% at a seasonally adjusted annual rate, the report said, due to the restoration of government trust funds that had been depleted during the 2017 debt limit impasse.

Write to Harriet Torry at [email protected]

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