US household wealth reaches high of $77.3 trillion

WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans’ wealth reached an all-time high this summer, buoyed by record-setting stock prices and a healthy recovery in home values.

The Federal Reserve said Monday that U.S. net worth, a measure of household wealth, rose 2.6 percent to $77.3 trillion from July through September. Net worth reflects the value of homes, stocks, bank accounts and other assets minus mortgages, credit cards and other debts.

Rising stock prices boosted Americans’ net worth $917 billion. Higher home values added another $428 billion.

The increase in net worth is an encouraging sign for the economy. As Americans gain wealth, they typically spend more and that drives faster growth.

The report also showed that Americans are willing to borrow more. That suggests many are growing more confident in their jobs and the broader economy.

Adjusted for inflation, net worth is about 1 percent below its pre-recession peak.

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