U.S. household wealth declined in the spring for the first time in a year, as falling stock prices and investments made many slightly poorer, in a trend that worsened over the summer.
The Federal Reserve (Fed) reported Friday that household net worth declined 0.3 percent to $58.5 trillion in the April-June period, following three consecutive quarterly increases.
Overall, household wealth, which mostly consists of home equity, stock portfolios, and other savings, has risen 15 percent since the recession officially ended in mid-2009. But the stock market has plunged 11 percent since its April peak and 8 percent since the end of the second quarter.
Meanwhile, companies have grown wealthier and are stockpiling record amounts of cash. Corporations, excluding banks, held $2 trillion at the end of June, an increase of 4.5 percent from the previous quarter.