WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The net worth of Americans hit a record high in the second quarter as the stock market climbed, while household debt rose at its fastest pace since 2007 in a sign of growing confidence among U.S. consumers.
Net worth nudged up 1.7 percent to $81.5 trillion, according to the so-called ‘Flow of Funds’ report released on Thursday by the Federal Reserve.
The S&P 500 set another intraday record on Thursday, with the Fed continuing with a highly accommodative monetary policy for a recovering U.S. economy.
The index has risen 3.5 percent since the last flow of funds report in June. In addition to the market boost, Americans have mostly benefited from a strong real estate market throughout the year.
House prices rose 0.8 percent in the second quarter of 2014, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s house price index. It was the 12th consecutive quarterly price increase in the index.
U.S. household debt increased at an annual rate of 3.6 percent in the second quarter, excluding charge-offs of home mortgages, compared to a 2.2 rate in the previous quarter.
Federal debt rose at an annual rate of 2.5 percent.
Total domestic non-financial debt rose at a 3.8 percent rate to $40.5 trillion.
Reporting by Michael Flaherty; Editing by Andrea Ricci