Surg­ing stocks, home val­ues lift house­hold wealth in the U.S.

The Denver Post - - BUSINESS - By Christo­pher Ru­gaber

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.

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