Our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy have changed.

By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to the new Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

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

Overnight Avg Rate Latest Change Last Week
30 yr fixed3.83%3.86%
15 yr fixed2.95%2.94%
5/1 ARM3.13%3.05%
30 yr refi3.95%3.98%
15 yr refi3.05%3.05%
Rate data provided
by Bankrate.com
View rates in your area
 
Find personalized rates:
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 16,643.01 -11.76 -0.07%
Nasdaq 4,828.33 15.62 0.32%
S&P 500 1,988.87 1.21 0.06%
Treasuries 2.19 0.02 0.83%
Data as of 4:21am ET
Company Price Change % Change
Freeport-McMoRan Inc... 10.50 0.31 3.04%
Bank of America Corp... 16.36 -0.08 -0.49%
Apple Inc 113.29 0.37 0.33%
Intel Corp 28.42 0.70 2.53%
Alcoa Inc 9.41 0.55 6.21%
Data as of Aug 28

Sections

Efforts to unionize low-wage employees of fast-food franchisees and outside contractors get lift from decision of NLRB. More

After Hurricane Katrina, the city of New Orleans had to reinvent the way it manages water and protects itself from future storms. More

The market volatility in China and the U.S. could hit private companies, especially late-stage unicorns. More

How do you run a successful crowdfunding campaign? Indiegogo's CEO Slava Rubin offers his top tips and mistakes to avoid. More

Mom and pop investors are dumping their investments and moving to cash at levels not seen since the financial crisis of 2008. More