Americans are wealthier than ever

ASSOCIATED PRESS: But that doesn’t necessarily help the typical family.

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ASSOCIATED PRESS: But that doesn’t necessarily help the typical family.

Rising household wealth can help boost growth by making consumers feel wealthier and more likely to spend. Economists estimate that consumer spending rises 3 to 5 cents for every dollar increase in wealth. Household spending drives about two-thirds of the economy

Yet greater wealth doesn’t necessarily benefit the typical family. The stock market has more than doubled since the recession ended in June 2009, which mainly benefits richer households. Approximately 10 percent of the wealthiest Americans own 80 percent of stocks, according to research by Edward Wolff, an economist at New York University.

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