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Decoding the Fed's DFA Report: Households Stronger Than Perceived

10 January 2024

DFA - jan 2024

The Federal Reserve's recent update to the Distribution of Financial Accounts (“DFA”) reflects significant adjustments based on findings from the 2022 Survey of Consumer Finances.

Quick Insights

  • Net worth continues to grow, particularly among lower-income households, despite significant declines in equity and mutual fund holdings. Excluding equity holdings, net worth growth is similar to pre-COVID levels despite massive real estate drag.

  • The decline in real estate net worth is based on faulty assumptions, showing a similar level of decline to the entirety of the GFC.

  • Revised debt levels show consumer credit is growing much slower among average and low-income households relative to pre-COVID trends, despite 2-3X higher inflation. This is true across a multitude of time periods.


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