Household Net Worth (Inflation Adjusted) Recovered 56% of Losses from the Housing Bust, Great Recession (Peak to Trough Ending Q4 2012)

The St. Louis Fed's 2012 annual report released an update on the U.S. household balance sheet recovery, which, in nominal terms, recovered 91% of losses from the housing crash and great recession (peak to trough as of Q4 2012). However, when adjusted for inflation, households only recovered 56% of their lost wealth (see the table below). The report also explained how the balance sheet recovery, which includes stock ownership, has been very uneven across the country. But the Fed would say that their stimulus programs and the government bailouts since 2008/2009, which has more than doubled the value of the S&P and increased home values, creates a wealth effect that stimulates the economy and employment.

From "9. Sidebar: How Much Household Wealth Has Been Recovered?":

The simple metric of aggregate household net worth is misleading for at least three reasons. First, the effect of inflation is ignored. Consumer prices increased about 2 percent per year in the five and one-quarter years since the third quarter of 2007, reducing the purchasing power of a dollar by a total of about 10 percent. Therefore, a return to the previous nominal dollar peak does not mean that a given amount of wealth could buy as much as before.

Second, simple aggregate net worth does not adjust for population growth. The number of households increased by about 3.8 million between the third quarter of 2007 and the end of 2012, or about 3.4 percent. The wealth of all American households now is shared by more families than before.

Third, the recovery of wealth has not been uniform across families. Of the total recovery of $14.7 trillion between the first quarter of 2009 and the fourth quarter of 2012, $9.1 trillion, or 62 percent, of the gain was due to higher stock-market wealth. Stock wealth is unevenly held, with the vast majority of stocks owned by a relatively small number of wealthy families. Thus, most families have recovered much less than the average amount.

Source: St. Louis Fed

Source: St. Louis Fed

And here's a video they made.

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