Surging stocks, home values lift household wealth in the U.S.
WASHINGTON» Surging stock prices and steady increases in home values powered American household wealth to $96.9 trillion this fall, the Federal Reserve said Thursday. The gains, however, aren’t widely shared.
U.S. wealth has made a remarkable comeback since the recession, when it plummeted more than $10 trillion to $56.2 trillion. In 2016, the latest figures available, median household wealth was still 34 percent below its 2007 level. Average household wealth, meanwhile, fully recovered from the downturn and was 7 percent higher last year. The average figure is pulled up by very wealthy families. “The middle class is still way below where it was almost 10 years ago,” said Edward Wolff, an economist at New York University.