US household net worth reaches all-time high
U.S. household net worth climbed to a record in the third quarter as home prices marched higher and the value of stocks and mutual funds surged, boosting the economic outlook.
The Federal Reserve said Monday net worth increased $1.9 trillion to $77.3 trillion in the third quarter, the highest level since records started in 1945.
The value of residential real estate rose by $428 billion between July and September, and corporate equities and mutual funds were up by $917 billion over the period, it said.
(Read more: Chinese are snapping up US real estate: Dolly Lenz)
The U.S. central bank has aggressively used ultra-easy monetary policy to foster a recovery in the nation's housing market following a severe 2007-2009 recession, and that has also helped propel U.S. stocks to record highs.
Increases in housing wealth make it easier for families to borrow against the equity in their homes, while overall wealth gains make consumers feel generally more comfortable spending their money. Many economists think consumers spend a few cents of every dollar they gain in wealth.
(Read more: Chart of the Day: Rates fall and house sales soar)