U.S. Household Wealth Fell In 3rd Quarter

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WASHINGTON, Dec. 9 (UPI) — Assets owned by U.S. households dropped an average of $7,800 in value in the third quarter because of a sharp decline in stock prices, officials said Thursday.

The total decline of $2.2 trillion in household wealth, reported by the Federal Reserve, was the largest since the fourth quarter of 2008, CNN reported. The total fell 4.1 percent to $57.4 trillion.

The value of common stocks held directly or indirectly by households fell 17 percent during the quarter, while real estate dropped by .6 percent or $98 billion.

Gregory Daco, principal U.S. economist for IHS Global Insight, predicted an uptick in household wealth in the fourth quarter.

“IHS expects a strong fourth quarter rebound in household net worth resulting mostly from a rally in stock prices,” he said Thursday. “This should provide some support to consumer spending as employment growth continues to make progress and consumers cheer up ahead of the holidays.”

Between 2007 and the first quarter of 2009, total household wealth fell $16.4 trillion.

While the trend has been upward since then, except for the most recent quarter, the total is still well below what it was five years ago.

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