Record Household Wealth?
So says this story:
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Rising real estate prices and a resurgent U.S. stock market pushed the net wealth of American households to a record high in the fourth quarter of 2004, the Federal Reserve said Thursday. In its quarterly “Flow of Funds” report, the central bank said household balance sheet values rose to $48.53 trillion in the fourth quarter, up from $46.59 trillion in the third quarter. The third quarter net worth was originally reported at $46.68 trillion, which had also been a record.
Household wealth at the end of 1999 was $42.44 trillion so this represents a 14.3% increase in the nominal value of wealth. Prices over the same period have risen by about 10.6% so it is even true that real wealth is higher than it was five years ago. Since population has increased by about 5.2% over the last five years, real household wealth per capita is not at record levels.