By Vicki Needham - 09/17/10 08:48 PM EDT
Household wealth dropped 2.7 percent — or $1.5 trillion — in the second quarter, the first time that has happened since early 2009 as the stock market negatively affected the value of financial portfolios.
Net worth, which had been slowly growing for the past four quarters, dropped to $53.5 trillion, as stocks dropped over fears of Europe's debt crisis during the April-through June period, according to the Federal Reserve’s Flow of Funds report released Friday.
The stock market has rebounded since the spring but net worth is still well below the pre-recession height of $65.8 trillion.
Consumers have taken to paying off debt and saving more money as the jobless rate has remained rooted above 9 percent.
Net worth includes home values, investments and bank accounts minus debts.