Economy

US Household Wealth Hits Highs In Spite Of Economic Trouble

Despite the struggling economy, U.S. household wealth hit new highs in 2020, according to a report by the Federal Reserve.

According to the Fed's statistics, the net worth of households and nonprofits hit $119 trillion in the second quarter this year.

That includes increases in directly and indirectly held corporate equities of $5.7 trillion, while real estate saw values increase $0.5 trillion.

There was $59.3 trillion in domestic nonfinancial debt outstanding, including household debt of $16.1 trillion, nonfinancial business debt of $17.6 trillion and total government debt $25.6 trillion. The domestic nonfinancial debt increased 25.3 percent in the second quarter, up from 10.6 percent in the first quarter.

Household debt rose 0.5 percent in the second quarter, while consumer credit shrank at an annual rate of 6.6 percent, with mortgage rate rising 3 percent, the report says.

Nonfinancial business debt rose 14 percent in the second quarter, down from 18.4 percent in the previous quarter. Federal government debt increased by 58.9 percent at an annual rate, an increase from 11.4 percent last quarter, the report says.

And state and local government debt increased by an annual rate of 3.5 percent in the second quarter, up from 0.9 percent last quarter.

As PYMNTS reported, the U.S. median household income was on its way up last year, increasing almost 7 percent to $68,700, up from $64,324 in 2018. The nation's poverty rate was also down 1.3 percentage points in 2019.

The period between 2018 and 2019 was one of gains for the country, with all races seeing improvements in poverty rates, with poverty declining for white people by 1 percent, for Hispanics by 1.8 percent, for black people by 2 percent and 2.8 percent for Asians, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

That was prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, which resulted in the loss of over 20 million jobs.

Federal Reserve Board Chair Jerome Powell said the U.S. labor market still has a ways to go before it's recovered, saying more wage growth and jobs across all races would be needed before things could be considered recovered.

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NEW PYMNTS DATA: HOW WE SHOP – SEPTEMBER 2020 

The How We Shop Report, a PYMNTS collaboration with PayPal, aims to understand how consumers of all ages and incomes are shifting to shopping and paying online in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our research builds on a series of studies conducted since March, surveying more than 16,000 consumers on how their shopping habits and payments preferences are changing as the crisis continues. This report focuses on our latest survey of 2,163 respondents and examines how their increased appetite for online commerce and digital touchless methods, such as QR codes, contactless cards and digital wallets, is poised to shape the post-pandemic economy.

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