Household wealth update

Wealth, or the value of our assets minus our debts, is important to everyone. Each quarter new numbers on household wealth are released. N.C. State University economist Mike Walden discusses the latest batch.

“Well, there’s good news and bad news … . The bad news is that we continue to be down on our wealth compared to where we were before the recession. In fact, at the height of the recession, households — you, me, and everyone else — have lost collectively $10 trillion of wealth.

“The good news is that we’ve recovered some of that. We’ve recovered about $4 trillion, but we’re still down there for $6 trillion compared to before the recession.

“And another piece of bad news is that when you look at the types of wealth that people have, if you look at wealth in people’s homes, which for many people that’s their biggest source of wealth, that’s still dropping. In fact, that’s now down a total of $7 trillion from before the recession.

“I think, unfortunately, that’s a big reason why the economy is moving very slowly.”

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