Household Wealth Dipped in the Spring

September 16, 2011 - 12:05 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans' wealth fell this spring for the first time in a year. Falling stocks and investments made many slightly poorer, a trend that worsened this summer.

The Federal Reserve says household net worth declined 0.3 percent to $58.5 trillion in the April-June quarter. That followed three straight 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 June 2009.

But the stock market has tumbled 11 percent since its April peak, and 8 percent since the end of the second quarter.

Corporations, meanwhile, 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.