Breaking News

No Comments

New numbers say depression, not recession

Money & Finance Comments (0)

Just last week, the Federal Reserve released some more information that we can add chuck into doomsday discussion dump: American households lost $1.33 trillion of their wealth in the first three months of the year.

They’re calling it a recession, but it’s starting to feel a lot more like a… Dare I utter the word? I hate to disappoint, but I’m a realist and I’m going to call it Depression.

Along with this lovely bit of news, the Federal Reserve also reported that household net worth fell to $50.38 trillion in the January-March quarter, the lowest level since the third quarter of 2004.

Of course, net worth means total assets, AKA our homes and checking accounts, just minus liabilities like mortgages and credit card debt.

According to an article on Fox News, you can blame the stock market for this numbered mess, as Americans’ stock value in the last quarter of the year dumped 5.8 percent.

(I’m trying to keep in mind that realist bit as I go on.)

The stocks of the Dow Jones, which measure almost all of the U.S.-based companies, dived to $8 trillion (yes, TRILLION) when stocks hit a 12-year low back in early March. And this was down from $19.2 trillion (yes, again with the trillion) in October 2007.

Yet another hit to household net worth came with further faltering of house prices. According to the Fed report, real estate fell 2.4 percent.

But wait! Some good news! The Commerce Department reported a 0.5 percent rise in retail sales. (I guess in times like these you have to learn to take the good when you can get it.)

Wealth is obviously rolling down the hill of economic uncertainty, and unemployment is only continuing to travel up it. We can only wait and wonder (and hope and pray) as to what the future holds.

Brittany @ June 14, 2009

Leave a comment

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>