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Household wealth grows

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Household balance sheet data clearly show the impact of the resource and housing boom that sent household wealth climbing before 2008, and dropping in the second half of 2008, partly offsetting the increase.

From 2002 to the second quarter of 2008, household net worth rose 56%, or $2.1 trillion. Two-thirds ($1.2 trillion) of this net worth came from investments related to the soaring stock market and about one-third ($0.8 trillion) from rising homeowner net equity.

The slump in stock markets and house prices in the second half of 2008 erased 7% of household net worth—painful, but far short of the 20% reduction seen in the United States since mid-2007, when the U.S. stock and housing markets began to falter. As a result, household wealth in Canada has expanded almost twice as fast as in the United States since 2002 (45% versus 27%).