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Data: Federal Reserve; Chart: Danielle Alberti/Axios

U.S. household net worth rose by the most ever in the second quarter, thanks largely to the record-breaking rise in stock prices.

By the numbers: Household net worth increased by $7.6 trillion, or 6.8%, to $119 trillion. The gain was the largest on record dating back to 1952, new Fed data show.

  • The value of equities rose $5.7 trillion from the prior quarter, accounting for a little more than 75% of the total U.S net worth increase.

Where it stands: Americans' net worth is up for the year, after declining by $7.2 trillion in the first quarter, when the value of equities dropped by $8.3 trillion but real estate assets rose by $422 billion and other assets (including physical assets like jewelry) increased by $1.1 trillion.

The intrigue: Increases in stock prices have accounted for an average of 65% of Americans' net worth increases over the past 20 years, according to Axios calculations.

  • Real estate value has added a far smaller percentage of the net worth gain, but have been positive in every quarter since Q1 2012.

Of note: Consumer credit fell at a 6.6% annual pace, the most since World War II, thanks in large part to a decline in credit card balances.

  • That came as the federal government debt rose by 58.9% and businesses continued to ratchet up debt, with domestic nonfinancial debt totaling $59.3 trillion.

Go deeper

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
Dec 23, 2020 - Economy & Business

Vaccines and strong economy could mean inflation in 2021

Expand chart
Data: Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; Chart: Axios Visuals

With nearly $3 trillion in lending from the Fed this year, and Congress approving $900 billion in debt-financed spending on top of the $3.1 trillion budget deficit in fiscal year 2020, inflation hawks are sounding the alarm.

Why it matters: “Inflation staying low and well-behaved is the foundation on which everything in markets is currently priced,” Karen Ward, chief market strategist for Europe at JPMorgan Asset Management, told FT.

Oklahoma Supreme Court temporarily blocks abortion restrictions

A pro-choice activist demonstrates outside the U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 4, 2021. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Oklahoma Supreme Court on Monday temporarily blocked three abortion restrictions set to take effect on Nov. 1.

Why it matters: The laws would place new limits on medication-induced abortions and require doctors who perform abortions to attain board certification in obstetrics and gynecology.

U.S. freezes aid to Sudan over military coup

Protesting the coup in Khartoum. Photo: AFP via Getty

The Biden administration has frozen a $700 million aid package to Sudan after a military coup on Monday threatened to end the country's transition toward democracy.

Driving the news: At least three protesters have been killed and dozens wounded in the chaotic scenes that followed the announcements from Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, the head of Sudan's ruling council, dissolving the government and declaring a state of emergency.