Wealth returns to the 1 percent

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The U.S. as a whole has regained all the household wealth it lost to the recession but it's the rich that have scooped all the cash, the Federal Reserve said on June 6.

As reported by the Associated Press, household wealth jumped $3 trillion to $70 trillion in the first quarter of this year, the Reserve claimed.

But the average household has recovered only about 63 percent of the wealth it lost.

Affluent households have benefited because most of the recovered wealth has come from higher share prices and the wealthiest 10 percent own about 80 percent of them.

Average household wealth was $539,500 at the end of last year, said the Fed, but most own far less than that.

House prices have been rising steadily since last summer, though they remain about 30 percent below their 2006 peak.

But shares have more than doubled since they bottomed in 2009, and hit record highs last month.

But the distribution of the wealth has been uneven and disparities mean a smaller fraction of the population is near the average.

Homes accounted for two-thirds of working-class assets before the recession and shares made up just seven percent.

This article was reposted from Morning Star.

Photo: Traders at the New York Stock Exchange. AP

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