Higher stock prices, home values lift US household wealth

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans' household wealth jumped in the final three months of last year, pushed higher by rising stock prices and greater home values. That leaves many households, particularly wealthy ones, more money to spend, a potential boost for growth.

The Federal Reserve says U.S. household net worth increased 1.9 percent in the fourth quarter to $86.8 trillion, up from $85.2 trillion in the third quarter. Americans' stock and mutual fund portfolios grew $758 billion. Home values rose $458 billion.

The overall increase in wealth masks large disparities between wealthier and less well-off households. And the Fed's figures aren't adjusted for population growth or inflation.

Household wealth, or net worth, reflects the value of homes, stocks and other assets minus mortgages, credit cards and other debts.