U.S. Household Wealth Set Record in Second Quarter

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BY JOSH ZUMBRUN

The wealth of American households climbed to a new peak in the second quarter, bolstered by rising real-estate values that more than compensated for a flat stock market.

The net worth of U.S. households and nonprofit organizations—the value of homes, stocks, bonds and other assets minus all mortgages, debts and other liabilities—climbed by $695 billion to $85.7 trillion, according to a Federal Reserve report released Friday.

The report provides a snapshot of the robustness of American balance sheets before the turmoil that struck stock markets in August.

Households lost close to $13 trillion in the recession, but a soaring stock market and resurgent home prices have boosted American wealth by $30 trillion over the past five years—gains fueled in part by a campaign of ultralow interest rates and large-scale asset purchases by the Fed.

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