The Fed released its much-anticipated report on the economy today, and the news is not pretty. In short, the median American family's wealth has fallen to early-1990s levels, eliminating two decades of prosperity, while savings are down and debt hovers like a vulture over most Americans, the New York Times reports. To no one's surprise, middle-class families are taking the brunt of it. One key number: The median family's net worth has fallen from $126,400 in 2007 to $77,300 in 2010.
A few highlights from the report, which compares the economy 18 months ago to that of 2007:
- The percentage of families saving money from the year before dropped from 56.4% to 52%.
- The motive for saving money has changed, from long-term goals like retirement or education to wanting money for short-term needs.
- Households reporting debt actually fell by 2.1%, but the median amount owed held steady, and 74.9% of households remain in debt.
- Families are carrying fewer credit cards; the percentage holding none at all rose from 27% to 32%.
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