American Net Worth Up, Good Sign in First Mortgage Debt Increase Since 2008

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The net worth of U.S. households rose 2.6 percent in the third quarter of 2013.  Americans’ collective worth is now $77.3 trillion, according to data released Monday by the Federal Reserve.
 
This rise in household wealth masks the fact that a lot of wealth is unevenly distributed in the country.  Well off Americans who own stocks are seeing a more robust recovery than those who rely on a regular job and salary for income.
 
For example, the median annual household income in October 2013 ($52,299) was about the same as it was a year ago ($52,082), according to data released last week by Sentier Research.
 
There may, however, be one particularly good sign in Monday's Federal Reserve report, Americans increased the amount of mortgage debt they took on by 0.9 per cent.  This was the first increase since early 2008, and could be a sign that the painful process of dealing with crippling debts after the financial crisis is coming to an end.
 
Consumer finances may now be healthy enough to resume a more normal process of spending and debt.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

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