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A shopper counts money at a checkout in a Best Buy store in Chesapeake, Virginia.
Household wealth in the U.S. rose nearly 2 percent in the third quarter and is approaching double the level it was during the financial crisis, according to Federal Reserve data released Thursday.
The balance sheet for Americans now shows $96.9 trillion in wealth, up from $95.2 trillion in the second quarter for a new record that represents an 8 percent gain from a year ago and a 72 percent surge since the 2008 crisis low.
Another quarter of stellar stock market performance contributed greatly to the wealth surge. Equity value jumped $1.1 trillion to $17.3 trillion. The S&P 500 has gained more than 18 percent this year.
Debt across the public and private sectors also continued to move higher, with the household level up 6.2 percent for the biggest gain in nearly two years and the second-largest move since the crisis.
However, the biggest move in that regard was the government, which saw a 10.3 percent rise and is now more than $20 trillion. The Fed attributed the move to the restoration of government trust funds the Treasury had been using to keep operations going during the 2017 debt limit impasse.
Business debt rose 5.4 percent and household debt was up 3.7 percent, a move that is consistent with previous quarters over the past year or so.
Correction: An earlier version misstated the household wealth total.