March 7 (UPI) — The average net worth of U.S. households fell during the fourth quarter by the largest amount since the financial crisis as stock market declined at the end of the year, the Federal Reserve said Thursday.
Net worth of households and nonprofits dropped by $3.73 trillion, or 3.4 percent, to $104.33 trillion at the end of 2018, federal statistics showed — the worst drop since 2009.
Prior to the drop, the market had been recovering with household net worth increasing 73 percent since 2009.
In addition to being the worst decline in 10 years, the drop is the first recorded decline since a 1 percent dip in the third quarter of 2015.
Losses in the stock market last fall led to a $4.6 trillion decline in equity value as investors feared rising interest rates.
Over the last few weeks, the stock market has recovered — turning around dramatically after Christmas Eve to notch its best start to a year since at least 1991.