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U.S. saw fall in household net worth in second quarter

Many consumers have faced financial struggles in recent years. Such struggles can lead to debt problems, which can have major impacts on consumers.

Recently, an article on the New York Times' website reported on some worrisome statistics about the financial position of U.S. households. The statistics were from a report that was released by the Federal Reserve and they regarded U.S. household net worth in 2011's second quarter.

According to the report, in the second quarter of 2011, the net worth of U.S. households was $58.5 trillion. This is a 0.3 percent drop from the first quarter. This drop is a change from what the U.S. had seen in the previous three quarters, as household net worth rose in each of those quarters. This drop may have been driven by drops in home and stock values.

Unfortunately, it appears that the household net worth drop in 2011's second quarter might not be an isolated event. According to the above-mentioned New York Times article, it is expected that 2011's third quarter will also yield a fall in household net worth in the U.S.

Thus, it appears that households in the U.S. may be experiencing a trend of decreasing net worth. Such a trend could be a real cause for concern for consumers, especially given the drops in average income that have occurred over the past few years. One wonders if this trend will lead to more households facing difficulties when it comes to debt. One also wonders how long this trend will continue.

Source: New York Times, "Household Net Worth Falls 0.3% in Quarter," Sept. 16, 2011

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