Household net worth jumps $1.7 trillion in third quarter

Americans saw their wealth increase by $1.7 trillion in the third quarter ended in September, a promising sign in the thick of the holiday shopping season.

Total household and nonprofit net worth – the difference between the value of assets and liabilities – climbed 2.7% to nearly $64.8 trillion from $63 trillion the previous quarter. A year ago, the gauge was at $58.7 trillion, according to a report Thursday from the Federal Reserve.

Households enjoyed a $301 billion bump in the value of their real estate holdings; the value of stock investments increased as well.

Meanwhile, household debt fell at a 2% annual pace, while mortgage borrowing dropped at a 3% rate. But consumer credit, which includes student and auto loans, increased at a 4.3% annual pace in its eighth straight quarterly increase.

Debt at the local and state government levels stayed flat, but the federal debt rose at a 6.3% annual rate. Total government debt was $14.3 trillion for the quarter.


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