Friday, June 10, 2016

083. US Wealth per Capita from 2006 through 2016

The Federal Reserve has recently provided data about the decline in the household net worth in 2008.  However, this data did not reflect what has happened meanwhile with inflation. The consumer price index has increased from 202.6 in 2006 to 238.0 in the first quarter of 2016. The Federal Reserve also does not reflect what has happened  to the US population that increased from 297.6 million in 2006 to 323 million in 2016.

After adjusting for inflation and population growth, the most reliable indicator of US prosperity is the increase in per capita wealth. That dropped precipitously by 21.7% in 2008 and did not fully recover until 2015 -2016,  the election years.



CONCLUSIONS: It took ten years for the average household wealth to increase by 4.55%, even though the increased share of this average to the top 10% of the population raises question whether the median, rather than the average, should be used for judging economic conditions.

The damage from the recession to the households was also more severe than indicated by stock market averages or employment numbers.

One can only conclude that the effects of the 2008 recession can be seen as a major set-back to US households as economic progress was arrested.


(1) https://www.federalreserve.gov/releases/z1/current/accessible/summary.htm
(2) https://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/CUUS0000SA0#
(3) https://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/POP#

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