WASHINGTON – Fueled by higher stock and home values, Americans’ net worth reached a record high in the final three months of 2014.
The Federal Reserve says household wealth rose 1.9 per cent during the October-December quarter to nearly $83 trillion. Americans’ stock and mutual fund portfolios increased $742 billion, while the value of their homes rose $356 billion.
The typical household didn’t benefit much, though. Most of the wealth remains concentrated among richer families.
Still, greater wealth could help lift spending and economic growth. Higher stock and home values can make people feel more financially secure and more willing to spend.
The Fed’s figures aren’t adjusted for population growth or inflation. Household wealth, or net worth, reflects the value of homes, stocks and other assets minus mortgages, credit cards and other debts.