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US Household Net Worth Falls on Drop in Value of Stock Holdings

(Bloomberg) — US household wealth declined in the third quarter by the most in a year on a drop in the value of stock holdings.

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Household net worth decreased $1.3 trillion, or 0.9%, in the period to almost $151 trillion, a Federal Reserve report showed Thursday.

The value of equity holdings fell about $1.7 trillion in the third quarter, while the value of real estate held by households rose slightly to a record high.

The S&P 500 retreated in the third quarter for the first time in a year on concerns about the economic outlook in the wake of the Fed’s interest-rate hikes.

Meanwhile, home prices remained elevated as higher borrowing costs led to constrained inventories. With mortgage rates hovering around the highest levels in two decades, many homeowners remained reluctant to list their properties.

The Fed’s report also showed that consumers and businesses dialed back their borrowing during the third quarter against the backdrop of rising interest rates.

Business debt outstanding increased at a 1.5% annualized rate, the slowest since the end of 2020. Consumer non-mortgage credit rose at the weakest pace since the onset of the pandemic. Meanwhile, mortgage debt also advanced at a slower rate.

At the government level, state and local government declined for the first time this year.

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