Household wealth grows $1.2 trillion

By Blake Ellis, staff reporter


NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- 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."

Meanwhile, liabilities fell $7.6 billion in the third quarter, as a $64 billion drop in home mortgages was slightly offset by a $22 billion gain in consumer credit. To top of page

Frontline troops push for solar energy
The U.S. Marines are testing renewable energy technologies like solar to reduce costs and casualties associated with fossil fuels. Play
25 Best Places to find rich singles
Looking for Mr. or Ms. Moneybags? Hunt down the perfect mate in these wealthy cities, which are brimming with unattached professionals. More
Fun festivals: Twins to mustard to pirates!
You'll see double in Twinsburg, Ohio, and Ketchup lovers should beware in Middleton, WI. Here's some of the best and strangest town festivals. Play
Overnight Avg Rate Latest Change Last Week
30 yr fixed3.92%3.97%
15 yr fixed3.00%3.08%
5/1 ARM3.48%3.44%
30 yr refi3.99%4.02%
15 yr refi3.10%3.16%
Rate data provided
by Bankrate.com
View rates in your area
 
Find personalized rates:
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 18,242.74 110.04 0.61%
Nasdaq 4,997.52 33.99 0.68%
S&P 500 2,112.44 7.94 0.38%
Treasuries 2.07 0.07 3.55%
Data as of 11:58am ET
Company Price Change % Change
Bank of America Corp... 15.97 0.16 1.01%
Apple Inc 129.62 1.16 0.90%
Boston Scientific Co... 17.15 0.25 1.48%
Facebook Inc 79.55 0.58 0.73%
Microsoft Corp 44.14 0.28 0.65%
Data as of 11:42am ET

Sections

Guinness owner says inclusion of an LGBT group in this year's parade is reason to resume its sponsorship, though some gay rights groups are still protesting the parade's policies. More

The specter of deflation has settled over vast tracks of the global economy, forcing large and small countries alike to examine the cost of falling prices. More

Michael Jordan is among the newest names on Forbes' annual list of the world's richest people. The basketball star made his fortune through endorsement deals and his ownership of the Charlotte Hornets NBA team. More