Gains in home equity and stock values helped lift household net worth by $1.3 trillion during the second quarter, the Federal Reserve said Wednesday. Household net worth totaled $74.8 trillion, a 1.8 percent increase over the first quarter.
During the recession, Americans’ wealth totaled $57.2 trillion.
The Fed uses the value of assets like homes, stocks, and bank accounts — minus debts like mortgages and credits — to calculate household wealth. During the second quarter, home values increased $525 billion. Meanwhile, stocks and mutual funds rose $300 billion. The more net worth consumers have, the more they are likely to spend, giving the economy an overall jolt.
Source: “Home and Stock Values Help Lift U.S. Household Wealth,” The Associated Press (Sept. 25, 2013)