A healthy gain in the stock market and steadily increasing home prices boosted Americans’ household wealth this spring, a trend that likely adds to the nation’s inequality.
The Federal Reserve said that Americans’ net worth rose 1.8 percent to $96.2 trillion in the April-June quarter. Stock portfolios and mutual funds jumped $1.1 trillion. Home values climbed $600 billion.
The solid gain in wealth could make many Americans more confident about spending, which typically fuels economic growth. But the increases in wealth aren’t widely shared. Roughly 10 percent of Americans own 80 percent of the nation’s stock market value.
Housing is the main wealth accumulation vehicle for the middle class. While home prices have climbed sharply since 2012, in much of the country they still trail pre-recession levels.
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