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

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12/07/2017 | 06:33pm CEST
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 harriet.torry@wsj.com

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