Trader Edward Curran works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Wednesday, March 5, 2014.
(Photo: Richard Drew, AP)
(USATODAY.com) - A booming stock market and recovering home values boosted Americans' household wealth by nearly $10 trillion last year, the Federal Reserve reported Thursday.
The net worth of households and non-profits was $80.7 trillion at the end of 2013, a 14% increase from 2012. More than half of the increase - $5.6 trillion - came from stocks. Real estate holdings rose $2.3 trillion in value.
Household wealth, or net worth, reflects the value of homes, stocks, bank accounts and other assets minus mortgages, credit cards and other debts.
Last year Americans finally regained the $10.6 trillion in wealth lost in the financial crisis when both stocks and real estate prices collapsed. Household wealth bottomed at $57.2 trillion in 2008, according to the Fed's statistics, which are not adjusted for inflation or population growth.
But the gains since the crisis have not been equally distributed. Most of the recovered wealth has come from higher stock prices, and many Americans are not in the market. The wealthiest 10% of Americans own 80% of stocks.
Even so, the economy benefits because people spend more when they feel richer. And consumer spending accounts for about two-thirds of U.S. economic activity.