The net worth of U.S. households and nonprofit organizations climbed 14% in 2013, or almost $10T, to a record $80.7T, a Fed report says, with Americans' wealth boosted by the soaring values of stocks and property.
However, inequality has increased, says Fed economist William Emmons. "There seems to be a disconnect: There are big wealth gains, but not much follow-through on consumer spending."
Much of the increase has gone to the wealthy and to older Americans, both of which are more likely to save than spend. The trend means that the immediate effect on economic growth could be limited.