Cha-Ching! Americans Worth More Money Than Ever

The net worth of U.S. households has reached another record high. Find out why — and what it means for you and the U.S. economy.

The net worth of U.S. households and nonprofits continues to climb to record highs.

It reached about $84.9 trillion during the first quarter of 2015, according to the Federal Reserve’s latest quarterly statistical report, released Thursday afternoon. That’s up from the prior record of about $83.3 trillion during the last quarter of 2014.

The Federal Reserve, which is the country’s central bank and controls its money flow, credits the rising values of stock and real estate for the latest increase in U.S. households’ net worth. These assets increased $487 billion and $503 billion, respectively.

Household net worth as a share of personal disposable income also increased during the first quarter. It reached 639 percent, the highest it’s been since the third quarter of 2007, right before the recession started, The Wall Street Journal reports:

The higher household wealth is relative to income, the more people may feel like increasing spending beyond what they ordinarily would.

Household debt as a share of disposable income also improved in the first quarter, dropping 1 percentage point from the prior quarter to 106.5 percent. The Wall Street Journal reports that’s the lowest level for household debt in more than a decade.

Continued improvements in the job market have started to spark wage growth, Bloomberg Business reports, which also should provide consumers with the means to increase household spending.

Dana Saporta, an economist at Credit Suisse Securities in New York, told Bloomberg before the Federal Reserve report’s release:

“Household net worth is broadening out. The recovery in general is getting deeper and broader, and that’s a good sign.”

Are you feeling more confident about your household’s net worth? Let us know what you think in a comment below or on Facebook.

Stacy Johnson

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