Friday, March 07, 2008

The poor - and everyone else - are getting poorer...

ECONOMIC REPORT
Americans poorer than a year ago
Fed reports household net worth down 3.6% in fourth quarter
By Rex Nutting, MarketWatch
Last update: 1:18 p.m. EST March 6, 2008

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) -- Considering the impact of higher prices, a bigger debt burden and sagging home prices, Americans were poorer at the end of 2007 than they were the year before, the Federal Reserve reported Thursday.

... Household equity fell to a record low 47.9% of home values. Over the past three quarters, the bank or lender owned more of the average house than the "homeowner" did -- the first time this has happened.

Total household assets fell by an annualized $308 billion to stand at $72.1 trillion, while liabilities rose $226 billion to $14.4 trillion. Real estate assets fell by a record $170 billion. Financial assets fell by $254 billion. Mortgage debt increased by $116 billion.

Home-equity loans increased by $26 billion annualized, the smallest increase in five years. For all of 2007, home-equity loans increased by $60.5 billion, about a third of the borrowing seen in 2004.

Disposable personal income increased at a 3.8% annual rate to $10.3 trillion, the slowest growth since the third quarter of 2005, when Hurricane Katrina hit...


Enough said.

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