A rebound in stocks and housing prices has driven the net worth of U.S. households up to $74.8 trillion, a historic high according to the Wall Street Journal. But as with every glimmer of good news in this shaky recovery, it comes riddled with caveats.
For one, that measure of wealth, once adjusted for inflation, is actually 4 percent shy of what it was in the bubbly, pre-recession days. Households have reclaimed 80 percent of their wealth in real terms — not bad, considering some of that wealth never existed outside of irrationally exuberant investors’ heads.
And some economic indicators show trouble ahead, including lackluster job growth, stagnant middle class incomes, a possible interest rate hike from the Fed and a looming government shutdown, all of which make it that much harder for the recovery to shake off that word “shaky.”