Fed Says Total U.S. Household Net Worth Rose in Second Quarter

The total net worth of U.S. households pushed further into record territory, climbing by $1.7 trillion in the second quarter of 2017, to $96.2 trillion.

The increase reflected rising values of stocks and homes, but the gain was smaller than the $2.3 trillion advance in the first quarter, according to the data the Federal Reserve released Thursday.

Household wealth in the stock market climbed by $1.1 trillion in the second quarter. While a slightly smaller increase than in the first quarter, the improvement still reflected a steady upward trend in equities prices supported by solid business and consumer confidence and broad economic growth around the globe.

The value of real estate rose by $564 billion last quarter, a better gain than the prior quarter, showing that home prices are rising at time when demand for housing is high and unemployment is low.

The sum Americans held in savings accounts and in bonds fell slightly in the quarter.

Overall assets rose by 1.8 trillion last quarter. That was partly offset by a $146 billion increase in household debt.

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.

During the 2007-09 recession, when the housing market and stock market both fell, households lost nearly $12 trillion in wealth. But net worth fully recovered by the second half of 2012, and has risen most quarters since.

The data reflects the average net worth of U.S. households exceeds $750,000. The report provides no details of how that wealth is distributed between households. The figures aren’t adjusted for inflation.
Source: Dow Jones