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U.S. Household Wealth Rose $2.04 Trillion in Fourth Quarter

Household wealth in the U.S. continued to increase in the fourth quarter as financial assets and real-estate values appreciated, figures from the Federal Reserve’s financial accounts reports, previously known as the Flow of Funds, showed Thursday.

Household finances are the strongest they’ve been in years, helped by a surge in the stock market, including a 3.3 percent advance in the S&P 500 last quarter, and rising house prices. At the same time, household debt continued to grow at a pace similar to the prior quarter. The report showed companies had $2.08 trillion in liquid assets, which signals they have the means to spend more on capital equipment, raise dividends and boost stock buybacks.