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US wealth hits a new record in the first quarter of 2014: report

NEW YORK--American household wealth reached a new record in the first quarter of 2014 thanks to a rising stock market and an improving housing market, according to U.S. data released Thursday.

The wealth of U.S. households and nonprofits jumped US$1.5 billion in the first quarter from the fourth quarter of 2013 to reach US$81.8 trillion, a new record, according to a U.S. Federal Reserve report. The data do not take into account inflation.

The increase included a rise of US$361 billion in the value of directly and indirectly held corporate equities and an increase of US$751 billion in the value of real estate, the Fed said.

Non-financial business debt rose at an annual rate of 7.3 percent in the first quarter after a 6.6 percent increase in the fourth quarter. Corporate bonds accounted for most of the increase, the Fed said.

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