CNN is reporting that American households’ wealth increased over the last few months. Are you feeling richer?
Americans got richer in the third quarter even as home values hit the skids after more than a year of increases.
Net worth for households and individuals climbed $1.2 trillion, or 2%, to $54.9 trillion in the third quarter, according to the Federal Reserve's Flow of Funds report released Thursday.
Household wealth had tumbled in the second quarter -- sliding $1.5 trillion between April and June -- after having climbed for four straight quarters. But growth returned in the third quarter thanks to higher stock values, with the S&P rising 11% following a 12% slide in the second quarter.
Corporate equities jumped $939 billion and mutual fund shares gained $378 billion, eclipsing the $698 billion dip in real estate assets -- the first decline in five quarters.
"Today's report shows that households have continued to rebuild their balance sheets throughout Q3, although the boost to net worth was completely due to a strong recovery in the equities market," Theresa Chen, an economist with Barclays Capital, said in a note to clients. "Looking forward, we expect net worth to rise further as overall economic activity increases and the employment outlook improves."