June 7, 2018 / 4:13 PM / in 4 months

U.S. household net worth $100 trillion in first-quarter 2018

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. households added $1 trillion to their wealth in the first three months of this year, boosted by rising stock prices and home values, the Federal Reserve said on Thursday.

FILE PHOTO: A shopping cart is seen inside a Dollar Tree discount store in Garden City, New York, U.S., May 23, 2016. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton/File Photo

U.S. household wealth reached $100.8 trillion in the January-March period.

The rising value of their investments has now boosted their net worth by over $6 trillion compared to the first quarter of 2017, a period that largely overlaps with the first year of the Trump administration.

Wealth has been rising since the United States emerged from the 2007-09 financial crisis and the U.S. labor market had been steadily improving for several years before Trump took office on Jan. 20, 2017.

The jobless rate has continued to fall, hitting 3.8 percent in May, while stock prices have risen more than 30 percent since Trump’s election in November 2016, which buoyed optimism among investors in a fiscal expansion that would help company profits.

Household borrowing rose at a 3.3 percent annual rate in the January-March period, the Fed report also showed, down from a 4.6 percent growth rate in the fourth quarter.

The value of financial assets held by households rose by $511 billion during the first quarter, while real estate value rose by $490 billion, the report said.

Elsewhere in the U.S. central bank’s report, liquid assets held by non-financial firms were $2.7 trillion, up from $2.6 trillion in the fourth quarter.

The strength of the U.S. economy has prompted the Fed to continue with incremental increases in borrowing costs as part of a tightening cycle it began in late 2015.

It has since raised interest rates another five times and investors widely expect another nudge upwards in the lending rate at its next policy meeting on June 12-13.

Reporting by Jason Lange; Editing by Andrea Ricci

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